Sue’s vintage brief encounter

Sue Parish
Sue Parish
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Lancaster singer Sue Parish recently took centre stage in a gala event at one of the UK’s finest theatre venues.

But it wouldn’t have happened without Carnforth Station Tea Rooms.

And the support of Lancaster’s Grand Theatre costume department helped to make it extra special.

Vocalist Sue was thrilled to be invited to front a 14 piece orchestra at the magnificent Art Deco Plaza in Stockport to celebrate the venue’s 80th birthday on Saturday October 13.

Directors of the Plaza had heard Sue’s CD at the Brief Encounter tea rooms at Carnforth.

After hearing her sing live as well, they decided she was the woman for their gala event in the 1,300-seater auditorium, which first threw open its doors in 1932 as a Super Cinema and Variety Theatre.

The Plaza commissioned authentic orchestral arrangements of 1930s numbers especially for Sue to sing.

And she realised she needed to look the part as well, which is where the Grand Theatre’s costume department came in, providing Sue with an original, sequinned bias-cut 1930s gown for the occasion.

Sue said: “It was a fantastic honour to sing onstage at this amazing venue, and it all came about by coincidence really, because if the tea rooms hadn’t been playing my CD when the Plaza directors walked in on a visit, it would never have happened.

“The Plaza is such a beautiful place and has recently been totally refurbished to take it back to it’s 1930s heyday, making it one of the most fantastic cinema theatres left in the UK.

“The event I performed at was the finale of two weeks of celebration of its opening in 1932.

“It was a carefully planned re-creation of the old type of “Cine-Variety” event which combined live acts with cinema.

“So I went on to do my set between showings of a silent news reel, a Laurel and Hardy movie and classic 1930s film Footlight Parade!

“To stand on that enormous stage, wearing a real vintage dress, and singing songs that the Plaza’s original audiences would have known and loved was one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had in my life.

“I feel very lucky, and I’m grateful to the Carnforth Tea Rooms, the Grand Theatre and the Plaza for making it happen.”