July 20, 2008

Spitfire Lights Up Music of the Night

By Bill Sobey

A spitfire will tonight wow crowds gathered for Plymouth's Music of the Night with gravity-defying feats.

The Spitfire PT462 pilot performed a daring dive, twist and loop in a four-minute show before the beginning of the musical extravaganza at the city's Royal Citadel on Thursday and last night.

It preceded a night of music, song, dance, gunfire and fireworks, presented by 29 Commando and involving local performers.

Spectator Karen McGill said: "It was really good, it made us proud to be British - people were waving flags, clapping and cheering.

"The spitfire was going up, banking and doing loop-the-loops. It came in really close, it was fantastic with the music.

"I think for the older people there it took them back to a different time, but there were people there of all ages enjoying themselves."

Nearly 5,000 people have watched the show each night this week - from Tuesday until last night.

But tonight's show will be the last until at least 2012.

The show, which takes place every two years and raises money for charities, will take a break in 2010 following a unanimous decision by organisers.

Coordinator Lesley Shorrocks said: "It's definitely not goodbye but times change and the costs of a show like this are huge now.

"We get lots of favours from people but when we have done it nine times we can't keep expecting it from them.

"We are grateful for the support we have had this year, there will be money raised for charities."

Speaking about the success of the show so far, Mrs Shorrocks said: "Ticket sales have been good, but people have wanted to see what the weather's been like.

"We have had a lot of very talented youngsters performing and it's been nice to see the next generation being given an opportunity.

"Within the audience, there's a lot of support for the 29 Commando Regiment, Plymouth is very proud of its military people."

(c) 2008 Western Morning News, The Plymouth (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.