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The programme will be announced from the stage. There will be a 20 minute intermission The Ukulele Orchestra is a touring musical group which has been delighting audiences, raising the roof, selling out performances, and receiving standing ovations since 1985. This all-singing, all strumming group has been performing for 35 years using only a fistful of ukuleles and maintaining that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation.
The premise sounds astoundingly simple: instruments, voices, no gimmicks, no light show. Yet the New York Times exclaim that "they extract more than seems humanly possible from so small and so modest an instrument" and millions have enthused over the years about the fact that the Orchestra tears the house down with a lively, touching, catchy, emotive, stomping show, threaded with humour and wit which inexplicably draws the audience in, to a joyous world beyond the conflicts of musical genres and transcending differences between a serious concert and entertainment.
As soon as the performers walk on stage, the audience feels that they are in safe hands, at home with friends who are totally in command of the art, craft, and magic of the stage. Sitting in chamber group format, and dressed in formal evening wear (regardless of the time of day or the venue, whether Glastonbury Festival or Carnegie Hall), it uses the limitations of the instrument to create a musical freedom as it reveals unsuspected musical insights.
At this point, the audience may well sit back, all prior assumptions forgotten, and allow the Orchestra, which has sixteen-handedly changed the face of the ukulele world, to give what the Independent raved as "the best musical entertainment in the country".
The first gig, intended as a one-off bit of fun was an instant sell out and led to national radio, TV, album recordings and international tours. Since then the Orchestra has become what the Observer called "a much loved institution" giving thousands of concerts, TV, and radio appearances all over the world. There have been tours in Britain, across Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China America, Canada and the North Pole. They also had the honour to perform, by invitation of The Prince of Wales, at the private 90th Birthday party of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle.
The Ukulele Orchestra have released CDs and DVDs on their own independent label. The orchestra's music has been used in films, plays, and commercials. The Financial Times praised "The sophisticated sound they make - both percussive and melodic - is at once hilarious and heartfelt".
The Orchestra was formed in 1985 as a bit of fun, but the first gig was an instant sell-out, and they've been performing ever since. By 1988 they had released an LP, appeared on BBC TV, played at WOMAD and recorded a BBC Radio 1 session.
The current ensemble has been playing together for over 20 years, and has become something of a national institution.
The Orchestra has given thousands of sold-out concerts across the world, including Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Poland, France, America, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.
They have more recently performed sell-out shows at the Sydney Opera House (2012), The Royal Albert Hall (2009, 2012) and New York's Carnegie Hall (2010, 2012).
Over the last 29 years, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has spawned hundreds of imitators, and you can now find Ukulele Groups in nearly every major city, indeed, the Orchestra are often blamed for the current Ukulele revival which is sweeping the globe.
The Ukulele Orchestra's music has been used in films, plays, and commercials, while film clips of the Orchestra's live concerts and TV appearances on websites such as YouTube have been watched millions of times. Collaborators have included Madness, David Arnold, The British Film Institute, The Ministry of Sound, Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) and The Kaiser Chiefs.