Back in May, I found myself in a small marquee at the Floral Fringe tapping my foot and slightly enthralled by the Kerry Le Bern Duo. Kerry is a jazz and vintage singer from West Sussex. Kerry’s background is in musical theatre having played principal roles in musicals such as Carousel, Return to the Forbidden Planet, The Pirates of Penzance and Calamity Jane. Since launching her own jazz career, she has performed at venues and events across the length and breadth of the UK as well as further afield in Europe. The other part of the duo is saxophonist, David Funnell. David lives in Shoreham by Sea and has performed in various bands in the south for over 20 years.
Combined with their stylish vintage look, the pair are compelling, with Kerry’s sultry jazz style and some fantastic saxophone. I ended up staying quite a while because frankly, anyone who sings me Ella Fitzgerald or Nina Simone has a fan for life and there was something quite addictive about the pair. Having finally pulled myself away to savour the other delights of the Floral Fringe Fair, I was more than delighted to bump into the duo a little later and I couldn’t resist stopping them for a quick chat.
This Sister Is Doing It For Herself
As it turns out, Kerry is also the creator, producer, director, and star of a dazzling one-woman show celebrating the leading ladies of musical theatre. Called Femmes Fatales, it’s a show that explores other shows such as Cabaret, Chicago, Mamma Mia and Hairspray, celebrating their leading ladies through song, dance, dialogue and personal anecdotes.
An evening of musical theatre
Despite having a busy day job as a global HR Leader for a Blue Chip tech company Kerry says, “I developed the idea of ‘Femmes Fatales’ during lockdown and it marks the fulfillment of a lifetime ambition of mine. It is an evening of song, dialogue, dance and personal anecdotes – much more than simply a series of songs from the shows. In fact, most of my previous audiences (it’s been to Southampton and Bordon earlier this year) have been surprised by how much they learned when they came to watch the show.”
Kerry says, “My life has been and continues to be touched by many inspiring women so I am dedicating this show to all those inspirational women out there who have positively influenced my life but most of all to my beautiful Mum, the person who taught me that to sing is a wonderful gift and that to be confident to go out there and share it, is an even greater gift.”
Although these days you are more likely to hear Kerry singing traditional jazz standards, she added, “I continue to be surprised by the wealth of wonderful jazz standards which have their roots in musical theatre.”
You can catch the show at The Chapel, Graylingwell, Chichester on 10 September 2022 at 19:30. Tickets are available: https://graylingwellchapel.com/whats-on/
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