Community feel makes Pepper gigs so special

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PROFESSIONAL classical singer Claire Boulter from Berkhamsted was so impressed with the quality of the 2011 Pepper Rock Show that she couldn’t resist signing up to take part in this year’s 24 Carat Pepper.

And with rehearsals now over the singer, who was most recently involved in Opera North’s production of Carousel, is really looking forward to performing this week.

Claire’s husband James who was a Pepper rookie last year also can’t wait to get back up on stage.

She says: “There was no way he wasn’t going to do it again. It was so much fun last year.”

Relative newcomers to Berkhamsted, Claire and James – who moved to the town at the end of 2010 – are full of praise for the role Pepper has played in their integration into the community.

“If it wasn’t for Pepper we wouldn’t have made all the friends we have,” she says.

“Everybody’s very talented and as result you end up getting involved with lots of other things too.

“You get to go and see people playing in their bands or at open mic nights – it’s such a great sociable atmosphere.”

New business development manager Alison Laing who lives with her family in Northchurch is another first-time Pepper performer.

Already a volunteer for the show with her oldest daughter a member of Pepper Youth, it wasn’t until last July’s extravaganza that she was really spurred on to give it a go herself this time round.

Attending with her own parents her mum, who sadly died in February, encouraged her to go for it.

Alison says: “Auditions were a couple of days after her funeral and I just thought well, you know what, I’ve just got to follow this through and do it.”

And how’s it been? “I think I’ve got the bug,” she says. “I’m just waiting for that first night now.”

Rock sensation 24 Carat Pepper opens on Friday at the Centenary Theatre, Berkhamsted, Kings Road, HP4 3BG.

Shows take place on Friday, July 13; Saturday, July 14; Wednesday, July 18; Thursday, July 19; Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 at 8.15pm, and on Sunday, July 15 at 5pm.

Pre and post show marquee entertainment includes Mouth on a Stick, The J D Project, The Soulmates, Breeze, and lots more.

Book tickets to see Alison, Claire and James, and all the other wonderful members of the cast performing 24 Carat Pepper by calling the ticket hotline on 01442 977292 or by going online at

Alternatively the box office at Acorn Pharmacy, High Street, Berkhamsted is now open.