Fundraising for the Margaret Centre takes centre stage

14 Jan 2019

Since 1961, the Ace High Revue Company have been performing shows for charity. Last year, the performance held a special resonance, after one of their longest standing members, Beryl, passed away.

Beryl’s cousin Roy, who founded the company, chose to donate the proceeds from the show to the Margaret Centre at Whipps Cross Hospital where Beryl was treated.

Paul, Roy’s son, remembers how much the Ace High Company meant to Beryl:

“I often accompanied her singing on the piano for shows. She was also a member of Woodford Operatic WOADS and from a young age I remember seeing her each year along with my parents in different pantomime costumes. She sang very well and was always willing to join in.

“In later years, many of the Ace High left as they moved away or died. Beryl kept entertaining up until she became ill before she died. She said she really enjoyed taking part and was so glad we kept asking her.”

Beryl’s loved ones and friends showed up in force to celebrate her life and raise money for the staff who treated her. Three generations of her family got involved with the show, including Roy’s grandsons, 11-year-old Oscar and 4-year-old Barnaby (pictured above).

To celebrate Beryl’s role in the theatre company over the years, the show featured songs that Beryl used to sing, like ‘Feed the birds’ from Mary Poppins. Beryl used to sing the solo as the old lady selling birdseed at St Paul’s.

The show’s producer Roy sadly missed the performance as he broke his ankle just 4 days before. This was the first show he had missed in over 50 years. Whilst the show went on, he was being treated at Whipps Cross Hospital, the same hospital that had looked after Beryl the year before.

Paul thanks the Margaret Centre for the care they provided to Beryl. “When Beryl was last ill, the Margaret Centre made her as comfortable as possible, caring for her and helping her family as such a difficult time. When we decided to put this show on as a tribute to her, we spoke to Beryl’s sister Maureen and she agreed with us that we’d like to raise money to help with Barts Charity’s vital work.”

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