Jake Curran (15), and Tilly Grimshaw (16).

A line-up of top Isle of Wight talent and stars from past and present are set to take part in a virtual charity concert in aid of Shanklin Theatre later this month.

Island musician Paul Armfield and Isle of Wight blues band Black Daniels, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum star Melvyn Hayes and John Challis (Only Fools and Horses’ Boycie) are among the names lining up to take part in Drumming and Strumming for the theatre, which was forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also appearing on the virtual bill are Doctor and the Medics singer Clive Jackson, Antiques Road Trip star, David Harper and Jacqui McShee, lead singer of 1970s folk band, Pentangle. Others include JC Grimshaw, John Wroath, Company B UK and Sol Grimshaw.

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The virtual charity concert has been organised by 15-year-old Jake Curran and 16-year-old Tilly Grimshaw, as part of their work to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. The pair are members of the band The Solar Escape and will also be performing.

Organisers, Jake Curran and Tilly Grimshaw, said:

“As members of The Solar Escape, Tilly and I know how hard the entertainment sector has been hit by COVID-19. That’s why we’re organising Drumming and Strumming for Shanklin Theatre, as part of our Duke of Edinburgh award.”

“We are really excited to do our first Drumming and Strumming concert on 22nd April, which you will be able to watch on Facebook and YouTube. We hope you can join us!”

Vic Farrow, Shanklin Theatre Chairman said:

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“The theatre is important, for both the Island and the community locally, because we have a lot of local people who attend and a lot of local people who appear here.

“We have dance schools, the Island Savoyards and Spotlight. All those people bring interest to youngsters and it’s the young people who are going to be the future of this place. It’s not just for tourism, but for the locals as well.”

Drumming and Strumming for Shanklin Theatre will premiere on Facebook and YouTube, on Thursday 22nd April. To donate before the night, visit https://shanklintheatre.enthuse.com/Donations#!/.

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