Tim’s Gala Round Up…
20 September, 2011
Posted by admin

Rehearsals | The Royal Opera HouseFirstly a very big thank you to EVERYONE who helped us to build our very first regional World Hunger Day event in Ipswich on September 11th in aid of The Hunger Project. View Gala Photos

It really was an amazing success and would not have been possible without the considerable financial support of Lord Archer, Lord Ashcroft, Angela Bernstein, Cynthia Brown, Andrew Cracknell, Simon Robey and Lord Stevenson and the support of many hundreds of volunteers

We would also like to thank Dame Monica Mason DBE, OBE, Director of The Royal Ballet and Wayne Eagling, Artistic Director of English National Ballet for giving their kind permission for the dancers to perform and to all the choreographers and their estates who so generously donated their work.

We have done our best to sum up the proceedings below.

After a 50 year absence, dancers from The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet returned to Ipswich to perform two historic and truly spectacular shows at The Ipswich Regent Theatre this month which raised £50,000 for The Hunger Project and our work in Africa, South Asia and Latin America to end Hunger and Poverty.

In addition to donations made by 100 talented young dancers from the local community, who attended Dance Workshops led by The Royal Ballet’s David Pickering there was an incredible display of local government and community grassroots support. 

Over 200 local volunteers stepped up with the main event which also included 60 local performers taking to the stage from The Linda Shipton School of Dance, The Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society, The Gallery Players, Appeal Theatre Group and The Co-Op Juniors Theatre Company.  

Angela Rippon dances with Gary AvisHunger Project UK Patrons Gary Avis and Angela Rippon OBE led the event on stage supported by our Patron Judith Batchelar behind the scenes.

The show was produced by THP Volunteer Ambassador Bryony Wells who worked night and day on the project for 3 months.

We owe Gary, Angela, Judith and Bryony an enormous debt of thanks.

Entitled The Royal Ballet’s Gary Avis & Friends, the event was supported by stunning performances from Jumoké Fashola and Steven McRae from our Dionne Warwick and Friends event in January of this year and a host of international stars from the ballet world. 

Star performers included Roberta Marquez, Nehemiah Kish, Begona Cao, Yuhui Choe, Melissa Hamilton, Paul Kay, Ryoichi Hirano, Liam Scarlett, Leanne Cope and Yasmine Naghdi. – View biographies and thanks

They were supported by The Royal Opera Baritone Nigel Cliffe, Royal Ballet pianist Kate Shipway, Jazz Pianist Peter Edwards and members of The Royal Ballet’s backstage stage crew and wardrobe teams with lighting designs by ENB’s David Richardson.

The Royal Ballet's Gary Avis Gala

The show attracted an audience of over 2,600 people who gave very warm standing ovations at both performances.

Gary Avis says..‘I was stunned and amazed to see this project coming together, we all knew the potential from the incredible launch event with Dionne Warwick & Friends in London earlier this year, but having 2,600 people from my local community supporting The Hunger Project and giving us all a standing ovations at both shows is something I will never forget.

I was incredibly touched by the generosity of the people of my home town, especially in the current tough economic climate, and to have raised £50,000 from the event for THP is nothing short of miraculous. I would like to thanks all my friends for stepping up to perform alongside me and send my heartfelt best wishes and thanks to all my friends from London, across the UK, most especially from Ipswich. 

The Gary Avis & Friends ChoirMost particularly I would like to thank THP Patron and Volunteer Judith Batchelar and the incredible Bryony Wells for coming together to make this all happen. I really hope that everyone enjoyed being a part of it and I look forward to the next time we do this!?! Gary Avis & Friends two perhaps?’’

Tim Holder, Country Director for The Hunger Project says..‘as an Ipswich born lad myself, I think we all felt that creating this event was a wonderful opportunity, but I’m not quite sure we anticipated quite how enormous and positive the response would be.

I would like to thank all at Ipswich Borough Council , The Ipswich Regent and so many friends old and new for coming together with so much passion and energy to make this happen.

Jumoke Fashola sings at The Royal Ballet's Gary Avis GalaI hope that support will continue within the community for The Hunger Project and the future projects we hope to create in the town. A big thank you to everyone.’

Glenn Halliday, Chair of The Board of Trustees for THP UK says..‘I have no doubt in the incredible commitment and talent of our team of two part-time staff at THP UK, they never cease to amaze us with their creativity, incredible commitment, resourcefulness and vision.

However, in true THP tradition, our work can only really happen with the support of volunteers and supportive sponsors and businesses. Once again, we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received.

Please take an opportunity to read the names of all who made this event come to life….and on behalf of THP UK, many thanks to Gary Avis and all those who gave truly breathtaking performances in Suffolk a few days ago in support of The Hunger Project.’

The next World Hunger Day project to be created by The Hunger Project UK is its most ambitious yet and will be led once again by the legendary Dionne Warwick supported by an all star international cast at The Royal Albert Hall on May 28th, 2012. Please sign up to receive our newsletter for more details. 

Special thanks to Roger at BMS Imaging and Andrej Uspenski for kindly donating their time and talent as official photographers for this event.

If you didn’t make it but would like a copy of the spectacular programme designed by BrandMe (a must for the coffee table!) you can secure a copy (minimum donation of £15.00) – get in touch with mark.speirs@thp.org for more details.

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30 Responses to “Tim’s Gala Round Up…”

  1. Myra Bayes says:

    What absolutely wonderful performances by everyone involved in this superb gala. Standing ovations galore…I just hope this will become a yearly event, although how it could possibly be improved on goodness knows !

  2. Tim Holder says:

    I’m very excited….over the past few days since Gary Avis & Friends we heard of no fewer than 5 new fundraising events in the planning stages, a real diversity of talents being used to help us end hunger. We have a pyjama party at a school, an endurance cycle ride, a curry night, a sponsored slim and a fashion show in the offing. Watch this space and we’ll tell you more about what’s happening as the stories come to life. I’m Hoping we’ll have a lot more people coming together on World Hunger Day on May 28th next year who will have found ways in their own lives to partner with those in the world who most need our support. Bring it on guys, we are so pleased to hear this brilliant news.

  3. Tim.. so glad your event was a hugh success.. sorry could not make it but rest assured look forward to next May! Will add the Hunger Project link to my blog all good wishes from Dublin. mark.xx

  4. Nicki Carter says:

    Gary and Tim,
    The event was just incredible – not only was the quality of performance breathtaking (and I wouldn’t have expected anything less) but the sense that so many people had come together to support this worthwhile cause was truly inspiring. It has certainly encouraged me to find new ways to help you with the fundraising.

  5. Tim Holder says:

    Thanks Myra for Volunteering front of house, much appreciated and for your supportive ear, would be great to do it again, we have some ideas. Mark…World Hunger Day 2012 is a huge challenge in London, but The Royal Albert Hall was always the plan for 2012 and we’ve secured it, so wonderful start. Just need to make sure we can be heard with the Jubilee and Olympics going on at the same time. Know you’ll help us do that as a WHD Original as it were. Best to both. Tim

  6. Mark Speirs says:

    I am continually amazed by what you can achieve with only two part time staff, committed trustees, patrons, ambassadors and a fantastic bunch of performers and volunteers. Another example of Hunger Project grassroots fundraising in action with inspired leadership from Tim allowing us all to bring our individual talents to the fore. I guess it shines a light on the incredible numbers at The Hunger Project across the world where we have 375,000 indigenous volunteers reaching 35 million people as they strive to become the authors of their own lives, free from hunger and poverty, permanently! Roll on The Royal Albert Hall and World Hunger Day 2012.. Mark

  7. Tim Holder says:

    Absolutely Mark. Bring it on. We are continually breaking new ground in the UK and this will easily be our most ambitious project yet. We need more people for sure, any Volunteers?

  8. Ann, Ipswich says:

    Thank you for a fantastic evening at The Regent. The performers gravity defying dancing had us all spell bound for the whole Evening. Well done and Best wishes to you all. I’ve made an additional donation to The Hunger Project.

  9. Val, Suffolk says:

    Dear Gary, just a note to say how much my husband and I enjoyed your concert last week. What a wonderful opportunity for the local audience and Linda’s pupils. I hope lots of money was raised for The Hunger Project.

  10. Val, Suffolk says:

    Ps..Many many congratulations to all concerned.

  11. Sandra, Colchester says:

    I came to your afternoon performance of Gary Avis & Friends in Ipswich. It was wonderful. I was completely blown away by it and was nearly in tears when it finished. The best show I think that I have ever been to see. So many of our greatest dancers performing, everything was perfect. Better than seeing one ballet in one go and all held together so elegantly by Angela Rippon. What a joy it was and to see you dancing, all amazing. Please thank all your friends for giving so much pleasure and the wonderful programme to keep as a reminder. I do hope you made loads of money for The Hunger Project and I do hope you will be able to bring your friends to Suffolk again soon.

  12. Amanda, Suffolk says:

    Congratulations on a highly moving and beautifully danced evening at The Regent. Please will you say well done to all. I recognise how special it was to bring this important event to Ipswich. Well done!

  13. Mark Britton says:

    My family and I really enjoyed the afternoon show.

    What struck me was the incredible amount of work that had gone in to put on a seamless performance. The vision and commitment shown by Gary, the performers and all who worked tirelessly to stage the event was very impressive.

    The principles of THP were clearly present in the event as a team committed to an extraordinary outcome and were in action to deliver something which was not predictable at the outset.

    A big thank you to all involved for a great day and also for having the courage to make a difference

  14. Gary Avis says:

    Hello All,

    I’m still getting messages, letters, texts and tweets, all good. Will check with people that they are OK for me to post them on here. Some great comments and offers of support forTHP going forward too, which is what this was all about. Very pleased. Gary

  15. Glenn Halliday says:

    Dear Gary,
    On behalf of THP-UK and the board of trustees I would like to thank you, and everyone involved in both of the absolutely fantastic performances. I would also like to thank you on behalf of the people of THP’s program countries that will be supported and empowered by the £50,0000 that was raised as a result of your event.

    I would also like to thank our own creative, tenacious and good-natured THP UK staff team as they continually amaze us with their commitment, resourcefulness and vision while making sure we always stay true to the sprit and intentions of THP.

    Thank you again Gary for being a truly outstanding and exemplary Patron and supporter of THP-UK.

  16. tasha says:

    had a wonderful time tim. my friends all enjoyed it too ( one was in tears half way thru the first dance!) also changed a wheel in the car park afterwards, the lady and her daughter were thoroughly impressed by gary and all the dancers! ps if you are that lady i hope you got home okay!

  17. Simon Tovey says:

    Dear Gary, Tim & Bryony,
    Congratulations on a brilliant evening – an artistic and financial success, and a chance for so many people to inspire each other.

  18. Sally Green says:

    GA&F was an amazing event brought to us by an incredible team for a fantastic cause. I feel privileged to have been in attendance and can’t wait for the next THP occasion. Well done and much love xx

  19. Gary Avis says:

    Tasha…I heard about the tyre change, impressed i couldn’t do that…..girl power! Thanks Sally. X

  20. Dionne Warwick says:

    How proud I am to know the Royal Ballet Company has thought enough of mankind to want to be a part of the efforts of World Hunger Day by giving a magnificent performance benefiting those who are suffering from hunger throughout the world……….I, along with so many others working to stop hunger  send a heartfelt thank you to the company and all in attendance…….I may not have been there in person but you can believe I was there in spirit. I  will see you all soon with our next World Hunger Day event right there at the Royal Albert Hall.

  21. Rod Natkiel says:

    How impressive to see such an innovative and TOP QUALITY approach to raising awareness for a charity and its work. In such a competitive marketplace as the charity marketplace currently is, it’s important to “cut through” and “make a noise”. This AMAZING event in Ipswich did just that: 2,000+ more people now buying into The Hunger Project. Well done Gary, Tim and Bryony…. and What A Show!

  22. Anna Merrick says:

    A well judged & thoughtfully put together programme, beautifully danced by some of the Royal Ballet’s brightest & best, above all the inimitable Gary Avis ! Bravo Gary & friends for all your hard work for such a worthy cause. We had a wonderfully entertaining afternoon which was more than worth the trip to Ipswich. Keep up the good work.

  23. Glenn Halliday says:

    Dear Gary & Friends, Bryony, Tim, Mark & Judith,
    You are all an inspiration to us here in the UK and beyond as you dare to dream big things and then make them happen. You have embraced the THP grassroots ethos and in so doing you are generating a growing awareness, understanding for our work as well as raising significant new funding.

    Please carry on with this great journey.

    Best regards, Glenn

    PS: This brings to mind a very apt quote “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” Margaret Mead

  24. Crys, suffolk says:

    I’ve spent some evenings in The Regent over the years, but none as wonderful as this.

  25. Tim Holder says:


    We made it on to The Hunger Project global site….let’s hope we get some comments from around the world now the news is out!

  26. Mary Ellen McNish says:

    Dear Tim and Glenn, What a spectacular success and example of your vision and commitment to The Hunger Project and the people of the world who are working to end their own hunger and poverty. Congratulations!

  27. Tim Holder says:

    Many thanks for your kind words Mary Ellen. 4,600 people have now attended THP UK events this year and we are delighted that a number of projects are springing up as people create their own projects to support the ending of hunger and poverty.

  28. sue Ring says:

    Hi left message ages ago but cannot see it here. What a fantastic time we had at the Regent, it was a joy selling programmes… everyone was inspired by the dancing and the extremely moving message from The Hunger Project at both performances. People gave so generously after such a passionate message. I know friends are holding events to support the cause such as curry evenings. Come on eveyone why not sign up for gift aid and what a difference we could make. Congratulations Tim and Gary and thank you for giving us all a wake up call xxx

  29. Sue Harvie-Austin says:

    It was well worth the drive from London to attend the ‘Gary Avis and Friends’ Gala evening in Ipswich recently. I brought a friend who said she enjoyed every single minute of it. Thank you to all the wonderful dancers and performers who gave us such a stunning show. Angela Rippon demonstrated she is still a great sport, not only hosting the evening with her professional aplomb but treating us to a leggy dance number with Gary! Brilliant.
    I know only too well what it takes to produce at event of this quality and I would like to especially thank Bryony Wells for her tireless production skills and to Judith Batchelar for her generosity of time and catering supplies.
    Finally, to Tim, our fearless Country Director whose vision created such a memorable show.
    For those who unfortunately missed it and to those who attended, I look forward to seeing you at The Royal Albert Hall on May 28th, 2012 for our next event.
    Sue Harvie-Austin

  30. Tim Holder says:

    I’m currently here in NYC at the Global Hunger Project Staff Meetings…It was great to hear so much positive support from our friends from all around the world for Gary Avis & Friends