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Heartbeat - A Musical Celebration

Throughout the summer of 2004, while the Heartbeat television series took its summer break, an unusual tribute to the show toured the country's theatres. Nicholas Rhea took his family to see the show in York, and his wife, Rhoda, reported:

Nicholas Rhea and his wife Rhoda at the theatre"We went to the York performance of Heartbeat A Musical Celebration last night and really enjoyed it. The cast were very energetic and talented. It was mostly a singing show - 1960's pop, of course. But we were struck by the versatility of the cast as they, not only had to sing, but also act and, more suprisingly provide their own live music backing - playing guitars, as one might expect, but also piano, sax, flute, and drums and they were very proficient on their instruments. They were able to switch from one role to another in seconds without a hitch. That was impressive. How they manage to keep that up, night after night, I don't know!
"The theme was that they were Heartbeat extras waiting their turn to go on set, and getting bored with the delay. So, to pass the time, they decide to take on the parts of the 'Heartbeat stars' themselves. And then they act out several well known scenes from the TV series, but in a lighthearted way. There were backdrops of Goathland, aka Aidensfield, the Aidensfield Arms and Police Station, etc. to set the scene. The Grand Opera House is a very small theatre, but this idea seemed to work very well and obviated the need for conventional scene changes."

Press reviews were equally favourable. For Katherine Davison, writing in the Lincolnshire Echo, it was the girls who stole the show:

The stage set for the Heartbeat musicalThe police drama-inspired musical got off to a swinging start yesterday, complete with a Nick Berry lookalike. But the real stars were the female cast who performed some gutsy hits with fervour. The show opened to the recognisable sounds of the TV show theme, played against a backdrop of sheep and Yorkshire views, and moved on to classic tunes including My Generation, Hard Day's Night and Hey Jude. The subsequent action focuses on a group of bored extras as they wait for the lights, the cameras and the action at Yorkshire Television studios. And the result was a hit with audience members who were clearly thrilled to hear some 1960s tunes made memorable by cast members Anna Blake, Kate Galston and Ellie Leah.
while the Wolverhampton Express and Star's Joe Sweeney found "plenty to enjoy here".

The poster for Heartbeat: A Musical CelebrationThe show has been devised by CV Productions in cooperation with Granada Television: Keith Richardson, Executive Producer for Granada Yorkshire Television, said: "Heartbeat has been a television phenomenon and this stage celebration has long been a dream - which we are delighted has now been fulfilled."

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