Ricky Gervais and Joanna Lumley among stars supporting Black Country firm's charity show
A-list stars Ricky Gervais, Joanna Lumley and Peter Egan have stepped up in support of a Stourbridge production company's one-off unique charity show.
Keyboards supremo Rick Wakeman and international artist Maria Rud are starring in the Over the Moon show, arranged by Stourbridge-based Base Video Productions.
Gervais, Lumley and Egan have all taken part in a new video urging people to support the Over the Moon show which takes place at the spectacular Queen's House in Greenwich, London, on December 10.
Comedian Gervais and actress Lumley, in the 45-second footage, say how they have been asked by Egan, who is the UK Ambassador for charity Animals Asia, to tell people about the event and the good cause it is raising money for. The film then cuts to a brief performance by Wakeman on the keyboards.
The show aims to combine art, music and architecture. The former Yes musician’s compositions will be translated into live artworks by Rud, who will paint onto a lightbox, her creations then projected onto the building, which will become a spectacular canvas for the evening.
Audience members will be able to stand, sit or move around watching Wakeman and Rud closely as they collaborate on their art.
The Over the Moon set will be a blend of classic Wakeman material with new compositions written especially for the event. On stage with Rick will be his son Adam, percussionist Ed Scull and leading London vocal ensemble the English Chamber Choir, conducted by Guy Protheroe.
It will be in ‘promenade’ format, allowing the audience to view the projection from different angles and fully immerse themselves in the performance.
The pioneering show is being arranged by Base Video Production which was founded by Andy Dingley and Warren Evans and is based in Rufford Road.
The company focuses on live event and TV production inside the UK and worldwide with their studio complex winning a House of Commons award for best venue in 2014.
Proceeds from the show will be donated to wildlife charity Animals Asia, which campaigns to end the bear bile trade. More than 10,000 moon bears or Asiatic black bears are caged on bile farms in China, according to Animals Asia figures.
Animals Asia has rescued over 600 bears, caring for them at its award-winning bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam. The 'moon bears' are kept on farms where they are locked up in cages for years with bile extracted from their gallbladder daily. The bile is used for medical reasons such as the treatment of rheumatism.
Andy said of the show: “Warren and I are very excited to be involved in such a unique and ambitious project, and to support a fantastic cause. Base Video Production have been involved from the outset, and it’s rewarding to see the project come to fruition”
Rud’s lightbox and the final painting of the evening will be auctioned for Animals Asia. Rud, who has previously ‘performed’ with orchestras and classical soloists such as Dame Evelyn Glennie, said: “Rick’s music is incredibly visual. I painted to Rick’s Six Wives of Henry the VIII and Awaken by Yes in my art school days in Moscow, and have ‘seen’ images of Judas Iscariot in my mind a thousand times.
“Music awakens images, but not all music is as visual as Rick’s. There is a strong synergy which I hope the audience will hear, see and experience.
“Rick introduced me to Animals Asia and the moon bears it is natural that our creative collaboration is in aid of an inspirational cause we strongly support.”
Wakeman said: “I like projects that are totally different to the norm, and I’m really looking forward to performing at Queen’s House.
“Maria is a truly gifted artist, and I’ve written some special pieces especially for the show to go alongside some of my classic works. The concept is unique and exciting, and we’re going to be raising money for a great charity along the way.”
Queen's House was designed by architect Inigo Jones who was commissioned in 1616 by King James I’s wife, Anne of Denmark – supposedly a gift from the king to apologise for swearing in front of her after she had accidentally killed one of his favourite dogs during a hunt.
She never lived to see it dying in 1619 with only the first floor completed. It was not until 1629, when James’s son Charles I gave Greenwich to his wife Henrietta Maria, that work on it resumed. The Queen’s House was completed around 1636 and is considered the first fully classical building in England.
Tickets are £32 for standard or £84 VIP. For more details visit soundandvisionlive.com