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Cheeky Ben is a Success

Mixing serious and light-hearted music and delivering it in an almost cheeky manner with bags of enthusiasm and personality is an art that Hethersett based tenor Benjamin Lake seems to have mastered. 

In what seems to have become an annual concert in Hethersett Village Hall, Benjamin once again illustrated that big ballads, showstopping tunes, lighter numbers and operatic arias can rub shoulders on the same stage. 

This time Benjamin ran through many of his favourite numbers. There were tried and trusted operatic pieces from Pagliacci and Puccini’s Nessun Dorma but also some more unexpected material such as Neil Diamond’s Love on the Rocks. Benjamin is a big showman in more senses than one – focussing on material from Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Whistle Down the Wind with a powerful voice that he admits is still trying to come to terms with using a microphone in larger halls. Certainly his voice is comfortably strong enough to get away with no amplification. 

Benjamin admits that he now feels totally at home in Hethersett and that came across in the fun way he introduced his songs and the laughter that ensued throughout the audience when he firstly surprised the audience with his rendition of Benny Hills “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)” and then surprised himself by accidentally repeating one of the verses. 

Then he had the audience laughing with him in mixing up his set list and mixing up his words  in introducing a big Barry Manilow balled by telling us the songwriter had met with “success after sex” rather than “success after success.” “I bet that one gets into the newspapers,” he quipped. 

Above all Benjamin provided over two hours of exceptional entertainment – strong voice, strong emotions but always with a big dollop of fun and more than a hint of devilment. I suspect he enjoyed it as much as the audience.