Actor Peter O'Toole's 'ghost' singer stages charity concert by Enfield choir he founded

By Russ Lawrence in Local People

Showstopping songs are Enfield resident Simon Gilbert’s speciality and it was his singing voice and not that of Peter O’Toole’s which was actually used in the 1972 film version of the musical, Man of La Mancha.

The professional tenor is choral director and founder of the Enfield Community Singers and the choir will be performing epic hits from other Broadway and West End musicals at a gala charity concert in Enfield on Saturday to raise funds for the London Air Ambulance.

The spectacular concert is being held at The United Reformed Church in Fox Lane, Palmers Green and supporting the Enfield Community Singers under its banner “Let The People Sing” will be the choir from Eastfield junior school in Eastfield Road, Enfield.

The evening of music includes selections from Les Miserables, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Judy Garland, The Sixties, The Beatles and many others.

Entry and refeshments are both free, but it is hoped people will make generous donations towatrds the air ambulance charity.

“Enfield Community Sngers recently supported the Opera Boys when they appeared at the Dugdale Centre as part of their national tour, “said Simon, who lives in Wellington Road, Bush Hill Park and formed the choir in 2011.

“The concert includes a great selection of medleys and solo pieces which should get everyone singing along,“ he added.

Singing the parts of Peter O’Toole in the movie Man Of La Mancha, he confesses, was one of the high points of his long career in musical theatre.

“I was appearing as an understudy in Showboat with Cleo Laine at the Adelphi Theatre at the time.

“The film’s makers came to audition all the guys in the show, including the principals.

“They needed someone to sing O’Toole’s parts, including the memorable ’Impossible Dream’ after the legendary actor realised his voice wasn’t up to it and after five takes of the song, they gave me the contract to sing all the music,” he proudly recalled..

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