IT WAS a family affair when Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson and relatives performed at a sell-out variety concert in aid of St Luke’s Hospice.
More than 200 people were entertained by music groups and stage performances from the star and her husband, the actor and filmmaker Greg Wise, their daughter Gaia and her mother, the actress Phyllida Law, at the £10-a-head event at South Harrow Methodist Church in Walton Avenue on Saturday evening.
Greg is the second cousin of concert organiser Mervyn Brown, who is both the church’s organist and has been a volunteer day care driver for more than 20 years for St Luke’s Hospice in Kenton Grange, Kenton.
He said: “The church was filled to capacity and the audience enjoyed a memorable and happy evening’s entertainment.
“Phyllida Law, in her gentle inimitable and humorous way read extracts from the book which she had recently written entitled Notes To
My Mother-In-Law – described by Joanna Lumley as ‘Familiar and inspiring and a reminder to us all that kindness and humour are the best companions in the world.’
“Twelve-year-old Gaia gave an excellent impromptu reading of one of her selected poems.
“Emma and Greg entertained us all with their skilled talents which included a delightful interrogation of Ernest by Lady Bracknell from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest.”
Mr Brown – who transports patients to and from their homes to St Luke’s Hospice’s day care unit – played compere for the evening with music from The Stardust Big Band and The Ramblers as well as classical contributions from violinist Philomena Knox and pianist John Woodhall, and jazz numbers from The James Woodhall Trio.
Proceeds will help the hospice towards its aim of raising £250,000 in its 25th anniversary year in order to expand its
services, not least the Hospice At Home outreach service to help terminally ill patients from Harrow and Brent.
The Observer is encouraging readers to make direct donates to help bring in £25,000 of the target total.