Hello Harry! - A Celebration of 40 Years at Stage Door
Hello Harry! is an online concert hosted by Giles Terera and the Shaftesbury Theatre
Featuring Dame Judi Dench, Anthony Hopkins, Chita Rivera, Beverley Knight, Eddie Izzard, Clive Rowe, Sharon D Clarke and many more
Harry Gabriel is a West End legend.
Harry started working at the Shaftesbury in 1980 for the Front of House department, becoming Stage Door Keeper a few years later. He is currently the night Stage Door Keeper and is the first face seen by every performer and staff member coming into the building.
Harry has worked at the Shaftesbury Theatre for 40 years this year, and performers from across the West End and beyond are coming together to celebrate his incredible career. The concert looks back to the first show of 1980, Hello Dolly! and all the way to & Juliet in the present day. While Harry has worked at the Shaftesbury, the Theatre has hosted shows including M Butterfly (with Anthony Hopkins, 1989), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (with Chita Rivera, 1992-93), Carousel (with Clive Rowe, 1993), Definite Article (Eddie Izzard, 1995), 125th Street (with Giles Terera, 2002), Hairspray (with Sharon D Clarke, 2007-10), Memphis (with Beverley Knight, 2014).
The following incredible performers will be featured in the concert, telling their stories about Harry and singing songs from shows that have appeared at the Theatre in the last 40 years.
Jordan Luke Gage
Dame Judi Dench
Melanie La Barrie
Sharon D Clarke
The West End Gospel Choir
While we are steaming this concert for free, we are also asking for everyone who can to donate to our crowdfunding campaign.
All donations will be split between three charities that have been chosen by Harry and Giles - Cancer Research UK, Black Lives Matter and The Black Curriculum. More information about these charities is available below.
We hope that this concert helps to bring people together in a very difficult time for our industry.
The concert will be streamed for free on YouTube on the 15th July at 7:30pm.
If you'd like to know more about the charities we are raising money for, have a look below. The total amount raised will be split equally between these three causes.
Cancer Research UK
The Covid-19 crisis has had an enormous impact on the work of Cancer Research UK.
For every week of lockdown, over 2300 cases of cancer are likely to be going undiagnosed across the UK, due to closure of services and patients not presenting while concerned about Covid-19.
CRUK are also expecting to lose around £160m in donations over this period, as fundraising events are not able to go ahead.
We would like to make a small difference in helping CRUK get through this crisis and continue helping those who need it. Please consider donating to help beat cancer.
Black Lives Matter
The official #BlackLivesMatter movement was founded in 2013. It is an international organisation in the UK, US and Canada. Its stated mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
We would like to use this concert as an opportunity to celebrate the brilliance of many Black performers in the West End and beyond.
The Shaftesbury Theatre has been fortunate enough to celebrate many Black stories on our stage, including Memphis and Motown, and we stand with the current movement who are seeking racial justice across the world.
For more information on Black Lives Matters, visit their website: https://blacklivesmatter.com/about/
The Black Curriculum
The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise founded in 2019 by young people to address the lack of Black British history in the UK curriculum.
The enterprise works to deliver arts focussed Black history programmes, provide teacher training and mobilise young people in order to facilitate social change.
At the moment, students across the UK are rarely taught Black British History. In 2017/18, there were 94,098 hate crimes committed in England and Wales. 76% of these were racially aggravated. The lack of understanding and education about Black British history is one aspect of a system in which these hate crimes happen.
For more information about The Black Curriculum, visit their website https://www.theblackcurriculum.com/
Your Stories about Harry
We asked you to send in some stories about Harry over the last 40 years, and we've been overwhelmed by the response. Have a look at what some people have been saying about this wonderful man...
I’ve been friends with Harry since Hairspray days 13 yrs ago. He was one of the first to offer comfort when I lost my Mum. He rings every New Years Day for a chat. I love to pop in and see him when in town. He is everything that is good about life and especially Showbiz. The world needs more Harry’s! Love him to bits
- Adam Price
I worked at the Shaftesbury 2004-2007 as front of house and then as Production Assistant. Harry was (and remains) a friend and mentor and is the kindest, most generous man I have had the pleasure to know. In an industry where people come and go and authenticity falters, Harry remains a true and self-less inspiration for us all. Thank you Harry for your support, joy, and smiles; they mean more than you know!
- Laura Rugg
He is the most inspirational and positive character that I know in terms of how he lives his life and will always have a special place in my heart. How he approaches life each day is a fantastic role model in how to live life, he approaches each day with a smile and positive outlook to everyone he meets and works with as well as being the best dressed stage door keeper I suspect in the entire world. He believed in showing the best face of himself to the cast and crew each day as well as presenting a happy and smiling face to all. I miss being lucky enough to see him each day but know that I was lucky to have that experience each day and others get that pleasure still.
- Ben Arkell
My sister (Sylvie-Anne) used to work in the box office at the Shaftesbury. I would often pop in to see her at work, come to see shows or meet her afterwards to go for drinks. I met Harry pretty much every time I visited and he was always just so kind and friendly, one of those people you can't help but instantly fall in love with. On one such visit (may have been the end of a run I think), a few people from the theatre joined us after work, including Harry. We went drinking and dancing and Harry, in his 70s at the time, out-performed the lot of us in grace, style and staying power, absolutely effortlessly. He was on the dancefloor all night and I'm pretty sure he was there when we left, still smiling away. I found his love for life and his joyful personality so inspiring, I think about it to this day. My life is so much richer for having met him, if only briefly. Thanks Harry!
- Joseph Taylor
Harry is the beating heart of the Shaftesbury. My mother and I first met Harry in 2013. Harry would welcome us to stage door with his bright, shining, smile. We weren’t cast or crew or there everyday, but, Harry still made every effort to make us feel that we were part of the Shaftesbury Family. His laugh radiates through that doorway, alongside his overwhelming happiness. The one thing you can’t deny when you meet him is the passion and love he has for his job and everyone around him. On the last day of Burn the Floor show’s 2013 production, we organised cupcakes for the entire cast with their names on them. Of course, we got one with Harry’s name on it. He was part of the BTF family. There may be a constantly changing cast or production, but Harry will be guaranteed to make everyone who walks through that door feel like they’re at home. It takes someone truly special to do just that, which makes Harry and his presence one of a kind.
- Emily Wilson
Writer/Director - Giles Terera
Producer - Saskia Baylis
Musical Director - Richard Beadle
Editor & Additional Camera - Fred Atkinson
Edit Assistant - Bert Atkinson
Chairman: Don Taffner Jr.
Chief Executive: James Williams
Piano - Richard Beadle
Drums - ElliottHenshaw
Bass/Keyboard - Mo Pleasure
Guitar - James Pusey
Percussion - James Turner
Keyboard - Katy Richardson
Trumpet - Pablo Mendelssohn
Trumpet - Chris Storr
Trombone - Winston Rollins
Reeds - Jamie Michael Harris
Reeds - Adrian Revell
Track preparation & arrangements - Richard Beadle & James Turner
Mixer - Matt Greaves