Five Star Swing to put big band buffs backstage at Queen’s Theatre

Five Star Swing in action.

Five Star Swing in action. - Credit: Archant

Relive the magic of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald as a big band spectacular makes its way to Hornchurch.

Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane is due to host Five Star Swing on Saturday, February 7, after it blew away audiences at the Leicester Square Theatre.

The band, which has performed at Dame Vera Lynn’s charity gala nights, is determined to get audiences swinging in the aisles by playing jazz and blues numbers from the likes of Glenn Miller and Count Basie.

The show features Romford singer Simone from the iconic Ivy Benson Orchestra and pianist-trumpet player Chris Smith, the son of Frank Sinatra trombonist Chris Smith snr.

Chris, who once toured with Herb Miller’s big band, said: “It’s about attracting people of all ages to come down – these days it’s about getting the whole family involved.”

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He added: “It’s rather light and informal, it’s like the audience is backstage with us and everyone can really get involved.”

The musician from Barkingside, who was even commissioned to perform a royal fanfare by the Prince and Princess of Wales, is relishing the chance to share his love of the big band.

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Chris, who has played solo trumpet in Michael Caine film Silver Bears, said: “The music is lovely and it’s the impact of the big band which gives it its unique vitality.”

He added: “Grandmothers have been taking their grandchildren to the shows and they love it just the same.”

The musician is hoping the performers’ local connections will draw in crowds.

“There’s lots of interest,” said Chris.

The show starts at 2.30pm with tickets going for £12.50.

Tickets are available from the theatre on 01708 433 333 or online at

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