By Edwin Baker –
Prince’s songbook is one of the most enigmatic and prolific created by any artist, while his celebration of diversity, sexuality and identity has struck a chord with people worldwide.
Huddersfield’s own creative genius Hardeep Sahota’s love for Prince and his music, allied with his own incredible musical and creative abilities, gave birth to the idea of Prince Re:Imagined, and what a reimagining it was.
The Prince – Re-imagined show at Lawrence Batley Theatre last night was an awe-inspiring tribute to the musical genius of Prince, skilfully blending a multitude of genres.
Led by lead writer Boff Whalley and musical director Jennifer Pugh, this remarkable project united a diverse lineup of world-class musicians who infused Prince’s iconic songs with the vibrant energy of Bangra, the quirkiness of pop, the soul-stirring harmonies of Gospel, the raw power of Rock, the heartfelt emotion of Soul, the infectious rhythms of Reggae, and the timeless melodies of Folk.
Singers Maddie Morris, winner of the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, and Rachel Modest, a semi-finalist on ITV’s The Voice in 2022, Lisanse Chigwane, who has featured appearances on TV’s Starstruck and Northern Live Tour, not forgetting the dulcet tones of the Huddersfield Community Gospel Choir showcased their exceptional vocal talents, captivating the audience with their dynamic performances.
They were backed by an equally amazing band, including Sumie Kent on the Japanese harp, James Frankland on guitar, Carol Hodge on keys and vocals, Sunil Kalyan on tabla and dholak, Vijay Venkat on violin, Christine Avis on cello, Dudley Nesbit on steel pan, and Abi Swift on drums.
Check out highlights from Prince Re:Imagined on KLTV.
Throughout the evening, the audience was treated to a mesmerising and genre-defying journey through Prince’s music, as it seamlessly fused Bangra, Gospel, Rock, Soul, Pop, Reggae, and Folk elements.
The performance was interwoven with a specially created soundscape that honoured the deep connection and memories fans have with Prince, highlighting his inspiring impact on their lives.
With foot-stomping beats and evocative melodies, this ground-breaking show left an indelible mark, paying homage to Prince’s extraordinary talent and leaving the audience in awe.
A Special mention and acknowledgement must be made of Samantha Green, who gave an enthusiastic and passionate interpretation through British Sign Language of the whole proceedings, adding further flavour to the diversity experienced throughout the evening.
The show offered a ground-breaking and unforgettable experience, celebrating the extraordinary talent and enduring impact of Prince. It was an evening enjoyed by all, leaving the audience with a new re-imagination of Prince that will live long in the memory.