Christmas season in Manchester has officially started as Manchester Council joined forces with Hits Radio to present the Manchester Christmas Light Switch-on 2019! This year though was very different because the switch-on wasn't located in Albert Square however Deansgate near the Cathedral was the new setting for the biggest Xmas event in the city and the stars of stage and screen came out on Thursday 14th November but there was one thing missing... the massive Santa Claus!
Firstly, I just wanted to give a massive shoutout to the Greater Manchester Police and the Showsec company for putting the Manchester crowd at ease and keeping us all very safe throughout the evening.
The line-up for this year's Switch-on was exciting as it featured a mix between musical theatre shows and pop artists. Ria Jones performed a stunning number from the musical "Gypsy" which opens at the Royal Exchange Theatre next week and Zoë George performed my favourite Disney song 'Reflection' from "Mulan" beautifully and I cannot wait to hear more of her voice when she opens as 'Snow White' in this year's Opera House Pantomime "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". We were then visited by one of the Queens from the hit musical 'Six'; Shekinah McFarlane who plays Anna of Cleves and sung 'Get Down' rocking the stage with her insane vocals and perfect performance. Olly Dobson from "Back to the Future The Musical" performed a song from the show very well with lots of energy and the Dance Academy Mcr showed their incredible dancing talents off well. Kidz Bop made an appearance too and as much as I dislike them, I actually very much enjoyed their performance which was full of energy and cheesiness. Four of Diamonds performed a couple of their songs and I really like their voices which combined together created this stunning and rich sound however I didn't enjoy HRVY's performance as much as it felt a bit faked for me. Going to this Switch-on, I had no idea who Becky Hill was but now after such a powerful and magnificent performance she gave I have all of her songs on repeat as her voice tone is very pretty and fabulous. The star of the Switch-on for me though was definitely the Grinch played by Edward Baker-Duly who was just a perfect casting choice for this role as he really brought this character into life and stole the stage with his comic timing and performance, and I definitely cannot wait to see the full show at the Lowry this christmas.
This years audience braved the coldness and rain to come to the Switch-on and I think it was worth it overall! Even though he stage seemed tiny and there wasn't a sign of a huge Santa Clause (I felt like it did take a bit of Manchester xmas tradition away), the line-up and the phenomenal firework display definitely covered for that therefore...