TV and opera talent as big show back in town

Adrian Scarborough at Pitch Perfect in 2012
Adrian Scarborough at Pitch Perfect in 2012

Pack up the family and head down to Berkhamsted Cricket Club this Sunday to enjoy a summer’s evening, accompanied by a little light opera, swing, and some comedy.

Pack up the family and head down to Berkhamsted Cricket Club this Sunday to enjoy an evening of opera and swing on a summertime evening.

Its ground will host Pitch Perfect – which begins at 5pm, 90 minutes after doors open.

The show will feature talent from across the area, including actor Adrian Scarborough, who lives in nearby Ellesmere Road.

The award-winning performer – famous for his roles in Gavin & Stacey, The Kings Speech and Upstairs Downstairs – also appeared in the event in 2012.

He will rush to this year’s Pitch Perfect from London’s National Theatre, where he is playing the Fool in King Lear.

He told the Gazette that he will treat the crowds at Pitch Perfect to some of his poetry, which he does as ‘a bit of a sideline’.

He said: “I am not very good at it, but it’s something I like to do every now and again.

“I have written a poem about Berkhamsted just for the occasion because I feel like Berkhamsted deserves a poem.”

He said he takes the mickey out of the town a little and refers to its commuters.

One of the current verses is: “All along the High Street, overpriced boutiques I nosed. M&S was nearly open – mercifully Greggs had closed.”

Pitch Perfect is the result of professional singer and avid amateur cricketer Phillip Brown innocently mentioning that he’d been on stage with Pavarotti during a match one afternoon.

Under pressure from the team he then performed an aria in the dressing room and was persuaded to put his voice to good use and organise a fundraising concert.

Pitch Perfect – now Berkhamsted’s premier al-fresco music event – was launched in 2011. It returns this year after its organisers had the year off in 2013.

Phillip will perform with a host of other singers and musicians, including his own wife, soprano Kathryn Jenkin.

Also on the line-up are The Patriot Girls – a trio of West End leading ladies who sing everything from the Andrews Sisters to The Supremes to The Three Tenors.

The Pete Kershaw Swing Band will be performing, as will Berkhamsted School student Sarah Munro, Alex Bourne and others. Students from Tring Park School for the Performing Arts will be showing off their talents too.

Beer, cakes, ice cream and a barbecue will be on offer too.

Organiser of this year’s event Tim Buckley said: “It is an opportunity for the whole town to sit down, have a glass of wine and enjoy some brilliant music. It’s not formal and there’s nothing pretentious about it at all.”

Tickets are £15 for adults. You can buy them from Berkhamsted Cricket Club by phoning 01442 862014, or from the town’s TravelTime World on 01442 879787, Shoot Me Studios on 01442 869099, or Here Cafe on 01442 300870. Children get in free.

Profits from Pitch Perfect will go towards the cricket club, which is more than 125 years old, and other good causes.

Tim said: “I think it is just a wonderful event in Berkhamsted.

“Berkhamsted is a fantastic town and we are blessed with this wonderful facility right in the heart of the town with a beautiful outlook.

“It is a joy to see it used for so many different purposes - the cricket in the summer, the football in the winter, various groups that use the clubhouse periodically and the fitness clubs that come here.”