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Gallery: Dame Shirley Bassey returns home to Cardiff for show premiere

24 May 2024 3 minute read
Dame Shirley celebrating with cast and crew of Sweet Charity

Dame Shirley Bassey returned home to Cardiff this week to attend the premiere of the Royal Welsh College’s Musical Theatre students’ production of ‘Sweet Charity’.

The show features the song Dame Shirley made her own, ‘Hey Big Spender,’ and after seeing the show she ‘spent a little time’ with the students backstage, chatting to the cast and crew.

‘It was a fabulous show and I want to congratulate everyone involved,’ said Dame Shirley. ‘Whenever I see the Royal Welsh College students perform, I feel happy that I can support training that was not available to me when I was young. I can see their hard work alongside their talents and I wish them all the luck in the world for their future careers.’

Earlier in the day, she met students who have benefitted from the Dame Shirley Bassey scholarship that was established at RWCMD through her support.

‘Having the opportunity to welcome Dame Shirley back to the College feels very special,’ said Principal Helena Gaunt.

‘No-one can inspire a fabulous show as she does and when we perform for her, we always do so with huge excitement as well as deep gratitude for her friendship and for the support that created her scholarship. As we mark our 75th birthday we want to pay tribute to her, and everyone who has contributed so much to RWCMD over the decades, empowering every part of our provision in different ways.’

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Abena Adoma and Cadi Mullane play Helene and Nickie who lead the ensemble for the classic ‘Hey Big Spender’.

So, what was it like singing such an iconic song in front of the performer who made it so special?

‘I am beyond privileged to have performed ‘Hey Big Spender’ in front of Dame Shirley, and to have met her afterwards,’ said Abena after the show.
This was the first time I’d played a part with such a big character development and song, so I thought I’d be nervous. But I just thought of my three years of training at the College, and then I looked out and saw Dame Shirley sitting in the auditorium and I was just excited to show her what we could do.

‘Now I’m buzzing and really proud of myself and the cast and crew for such an amazing performance. I feel like I can do anything!’


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Richard Davies
Richard Davies
8 days ago

Has she made a one-way journey?

No. In that case her home is Monaco and she has lived there for so long, to get away with not paying her fair share of tax, that imo she is no longer Cymry!

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