Strange things were happening in Mylor over the late May Bank Holiday weekend. It brought its usual influx of visitors, but also a Big Top to Porloe Farm. Local volunteers worked over the weekend to create the bar, sponsors’ area, and the Mylor Sessions speciality – the hay bale seating. Liza Sings Streisand had come home.
Come showtime, it was like a scene from Field of Dreams – if you build it they will come. Cars rumbled over the cattle-grid into the field. People poured across the drive, some with cushions, some with picnics, but all clutching their tickets. The smiling volunteers ushered them here, and there, maximising the return to the local beneficiaries – Mylor Bridge School Music Fund and Cornwall Community Foundation.
At a little after 19:30 (well, we are in Cornwall) everyone was seated, the sides sealed, creating a surreal environment for Liza Pulman and The Stardust Ensemble to perform in. The tent seemed vast with a spotlight on Pulman, but her voice soared, filling the space usually reserved for the trapeze. It was utterly magical.
Liza Sings Streisand, as Pulman was at pains to explain, was not a tribute act, but a celebration of the immense talent of Streisand. There were twenty-one songs in all, interspersed with stories and personal anecdotes about Streisand. This was a show that had it all – pathos, humour, and Pulman’s incredible vocal talent. The songs, mostly, had the magical Aktins/Pulman treatment. Joseph Aktins is Pulman’s Musical Director, and the genius of the arrangements is down to them. The show opened with a stunning version of Don’t Rain on My Parade, which set the bar high for the audience. It then continued, in its own rhythm through a wonderful catalogue of songs. Pulman’s vocal range is incredible and she sings with deep passion and conviction. It is baffling to me how a song and an extraordinary voice, in a space with other people can make you prickle with goose-bumps, or bring a tear to your eye, or simply make you smile. At times, it was like Pulman and I were the only ones in the tent – mesmerising.
How to recall a favourite? The feisty Miss Marmelstine? The charming Sleeping Bee? The moving Evergreen? The chintzy Happy Days… For me, the blistering rendition of People, perhaps because it was followed by a long-standing ovation.
But, to the point of the concert. Liza Sings Streisandraised over £5,000 for the two local charities. Mylor Sessions and Liza Pulman – your community salutes you.
Photo Credits: Bob Berry. The full selection can be viewed here
An extract of this review is due in the July Edition of The Magazine for Mylor and Flushing Communities.