On Saturday, November 5, 450 people turned out to hear singer and actress Toyah Willcox narrate Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, with Salisbury Cathedral’s assistant director of Music John Challenger taking on the ‘orchestral’ role with the famous Father Willis organ.
The evening was a relaxed affair. Children were free to move about and many sat on huge carpets laid out in the Spire Crossing.
The event was expertly compéred by Steve Abbott, a counter tenor in the Cathedral choir and the director of Salisbury Cathedral’s Youth Choir.
Using the big screen, Steve and organist John Challenger gave the audience a short tour around the organ, then after two pieces by Camille Saint-Saëns including The Swan from the Carnival of the Animals, Toyah took to the stage. From the Cathedral’s magnificent pulpit in the Spire Crossing, she delivered a dramatic and entertaining narration of Peter and the Wolf – and the hapless duck who was swallowed whole – perfectly mirroring John Challenger’s witty take on the famous symphonic fairytale for children.
After the concert Toyah and John were surrounded by fans, old and young, wanting autographs and to share their memories both of Toyah and