Vintage song and dance act, Mary Lou Revue were ‘Singing in the Rain’ on Saturday, bringing joy to patients and staff at Oxford Health’s Witney Community Hospital.
Marie-Louise Flexen and Steve Skinley usually bring musical entertainment to patient’s bedsides in hospitals and community care settings. As part of the Creating with Care programme, supported by the Oxford Health Charity, they have become a regular act at Witney, which provides rehabilitation and palliative care for older people.
But with hospital visit restrictions, the duo performed from the garden, in rainy conditions, singing nostalgic tunes like ‘We’ll meet again’ and ‘New York, New York’ as patients and staff made requests and watched from inside through the windows with cups of tea.
It seemed appropriate, after delivering a virtual event to patients for VE Day in April, that their latest ‘musical refreshment’ coincided with the 75th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory over Japan), commemorating the end of the Second World War.
Angela Conlan, CWC’s arts co-ordinator and Trust governor, said: “It was wonderful to see everyone’s mood be lifted instantly! There was lots of toe-tapping and it was a lovely coincidence that Mary Lou Revue came on VJ Day so we could do our small part to remember those who fought for us.”
Marie-Louise said: “Patients and staff can really benefit from the power of music. It’s wonderful that we can still help people to make that connection with happy memories, particularly at this difficult time.”
The duo will be bringing music to Abingdon Community Hospital next month.