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Cadogan Hall, Sloane Square, London
Cadogan Hall Interior
Review by Peter Such

This UK series with Hayley is definitely turning into some real fun times of HWI members meeting up with one another face-to-face. As has already been posted, there were some of us convinced there was going to be a photo call while others of us decided that running so late the show must surely start any moment and we went in ahead.

The photographers have proved the point it was worth waiting longer and finally they joined me ensconced in my row, having only a few minutes previously disrupted half a row to reach my midway point. The others, fortunately, came in from the other end to meet up with me literally, Richard to my right, then Roger, then Dave.

For the first time Hayley worried me. I kept wondering just when she was going to come on. I felt we would run out of time and all we would have would be a couple of songs.

Then another worry crept in. Hayley, this is one fab night. This is one hell of a do. I’m used to you Hayley standing out head and shoulders. Okay, when you are battling things out with Fiona the two of you are on a par but it is still the Hayley show and different instruments. Here you actually had another female singer ’competing’ with you, even allowing for the fact a mezzo is a completely different instrument. Where in this show is Hayley? Would she stand out? Would, by contrast of all these excellent performances, only come across as ‘on par’. Was there a danger of an anti-climax? I was seriously worried for you.

Then on you came. Just walking on stage it was your show. Despite the brilliance of what had gone before you stood out, in command without appearing commanding. It was not a question of being head and shoulders above the rest. You stood out in harmony with them. An incredible feat. And here I go, jumping in with all six feet flailing in my usual manner, spontaneously as I write. There will come a time when you will have your own television show. You can do it. You can hold and manage the greats in your own way. You’ve got what it takes. Not yet. Not quite yet. But the maturity and self-confidence that such a demanding job requires is there, growing steadily, quietly hidden for now but building.

On Tuesday night at Cadogan Hall, you gave me the same emotion I felt when first I saw you perform at The Palladium. The emotion that determined I had to do what I had never done for anyone in my life before, stand at a stage door waiting for a star.

On Tuesday night you re-awoke that same emotion expressed simply as this: ‘You’re damned good lady, you’re damned good indeed!’ Tuesday night made me realise how extraordinarily privileged we are to meet with you at all, let alone the number of times so many of us have been privileged to do so.

So, the end of that show and what happened? You’d promised you would meet us at the stage door. And you did! There, at that stage door, an international star stepped out onto the side walk to talk to some of the fans she knew well enough to be so casual with. So casually, her manager slipped his jacket over your shoulders to keep out the chill of a summer’s late night air, just off London’s Sloane Square.

Thank you, Hayley Westenra, for being such a very wonderful person indeed,


source : hwi
credits : peter such
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