Katherine Crowe’s Star still to shine
IT is the show that some, including the star, feared was destined not to happen.
Katherine Crowe’s terminal cancer has been an ominous cloud on the horizon for the past year, but here we are, just four weeks away from the singer’s Gaiety Theatre performance with heroes Beverley Craven and Richard Walters.
And any illness will have to work very hard to stop Katherine now. The inspirational entertainer from Groudle is accepting mortality with a zest for life that also sees her preparing for the upcoming End to End mountain bike challenge.
Katherine had joked with musical idols Beverley Craven and Richard Waters, during respective visits to the island, that they should join up on stage for a special show in 2012 ‘if she was still around’.
The resulting Gaiety gig will bring together many friends and musicians for an emotional but heart-warming evening.
‘Rehearsals are going great, if a little bit scary, given the enormity of it,’ said Katherine. ‘Originally the show was meant to be just acoustic, but as is normal with me, things have snowballed!
‘The band are fantastic, Simon Campbell on guitar, John Cleator on drums, Chris Glaister on keys, Lou Earner doing backing vocals. Nice and solid.’
Aside from visiting stars Beverley and Richard, other people appearing including Mat Creer for one song, and hopefully Christine Collister, who is flying back to the island on the 17th, while there’s also a track with the Ballacottier school choir.
‘The show won’t be depressing, or about my health, there’ll be some uplifting moments, with fun and banter’ said Katherine, who will sing and play guitar, cello and piano. ‘We’ve only opened the stalls at the moment, I’d like to think there would be enough support to fill it out.
‘I’m somewhere between excited and petrified. Excited because of knowing the other musicians are amazing. Petrified because of the enormity, trying to market it, almost dying of cancer, and training for the End to End!’
The End to End mountain bike race is one of the toughest sporting challenges in the island, why put herself through so much? ‘It’s so I won’t just stop and collapse. It keeps me going, and it has done its job,’ she said. ‘I’ll finish if I have to crawl over the line. When I’m on my bike, I’m the same as everyone else. It keeps my head straight. Despite the illness, I can do things I couldn’t do this time last year. I’m visibly falling apart, but I know that as long as I can still climb massive hills, then I’m still here and physically functioning. The bike is about the physical, the concert is about the emotional.’
Coming to terms with mortality, particularly as a wife and mother to young children, must have been the greatest challenge. ‘My body parts are falling to bits. It’s happening, and it’s beyond frightening. I’m sat on a time bomb, but the longer I can live with it, the better,’ she said. ‘I’ve already lived longer than I should have, I’m already living a miracle. To be honest, when we arranged to show, I didn’t think I’d still be here. I made Bev and Richard promise to still do the show even if I don’t make it. The day I’m sat on that stage will be truly emotional. Music is my sanctuary.’
The show had initially been arranged as a fundraiser to explore alternative cancer treatments. ‘It’s not about fundraising now,’ said Katherine, ‘I don’t need to, things have changed. Medical avenues are so small now. It’s about friends and family, and music.’
She says she owes a debt of gratitude to Mark Armstrong and Sean Christian, who relieved ticket sales pressure by organising corporate sponsorship. ‘I’d spent money I don’t have, so those companies helped take the weight off. But we still really need bums on seats!’ The show on September 21 starts at 8pm. Tickets are £20, available from.villagaiety.com, the Villa Marina reception, the Sea Terminal Welcome Centre or by calling 600555.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 36 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 6 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North west