The show started with a joyful gospel rendition of Joy To The World sung by the massive community choir, myself included, which - from the reaction - got the sold-out De La Warr Pavilion audience flowing with excitement.
From then on the festivities continued as the unfathomably talented professional soloists took to the stage. Star of Kinky Boots in the West End, Catherine Millsom, gave a spellbinding rendition of All I Want For Christmas Is You. Jonathan Alden gave commanding, showstopping performances of several musical classics such as Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific, as well as a hilarious duet with star of Joseph UK tour and Magic of the Musicals director, Adam Hepkin. The comically brilliant star of Avenue Q, Julie Atherton, got the audience rolling with laughter at her masterfully hilarious renditions of songs such as Portrait of a Princess as well as introducing Bexhill to fellow Avenue Q star, Kate Monster. Seasoned actress and star of Les Miserables Rachael Louise Miller blew the audience away with her powerfully masterful operatic voice as well as adding a comic whirl of finesse to Gotta Get A Gimmick from Gypsy along with local rising talent Mollie Tucker who “bumped it with a trumpet” and Catherine who lit up the stage with three cheekily placed hearts, crafted by technical genius, Ben Ralph. As well as the older, seasoned professionals, young talent and star of Casualty, Houdini and Doyle and more, Emily Carey gave flawless performances of numbers like Naughty from Matilda. The show also gave opportunity to some upcoming talent from the choir including a stunning Jersey Boys medley by Andy Rose, Josh Rose, Jordan Standell, Sam Clark and Glenn Siggins. Then there’s the headliner, the one and only Aled Jones. Aled entranced the audience, duetting with a recording of his younger self singing his famed classic Walking In The Air. The evening continued with stunning performances from Aled, the pros and us, the choir, which culminated with a spectacular White Christmas finale. Afterwards members of the audience described the show as “spectacular” and “exceptional” and there was festive warmth emanating that evening from both the audience and those on stage. By Sam Coleman.