Boomin rocks the crowd at the hangar party at Op Cabrit in Estonia

Wow, what a fantastic year 2017 was for CSE. In 12 months, the team very proudly delivered more than 40 separate events around the forces world, six of which took place during one weekend.

Through a mixture of paid for and beneficiary gigs, CSE entertained servicemen, women and their families from a wide variety of units. Here are some of the highlights:

CSE Client Events: We get paid to have this much fun

#Reme75 Party In The Park

To celebrate 75 years of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), CSE was asked to put on a show at MoD Lyneham. More than 12,000 tickets were sold, helped by the predictions of glorious weather. Proceedings kicked off with the Wiltshire Rock Choir, all 120 of them, followed by duo Twice as Nice, station band Firing Blanks and the REME Parachute Display Team. They wowed the crowds with a display which included a special guest jumper in the form of our Lady GaGa tribute, who then went on to do an amazing performance. The incredible REME Corps Band got the crowd on their feet and as the sun was setting, it was time for our headliner, The Overtones, who closed the show with a bang, helped by the fireworks display.

RAF Marham

Following a hugely successful 100th Anniversary show in 2016, CSE returned to Marham to stage a live entertainment show as part of RAF Marham’s friends and families’ day. This followed its annual air show. Despite the rain that had earlier plagued the day, a sizeable crowd of revellers danced the night away to the likes of Actung! Spitfire, Marzs vs Murz, Stevi Ritchie, DUKE and headliner, Stooshe. Luckily the sun came out just as the gig began, and a great night was had by all. Flight Sergeant James O’Connell said:

“Brilliant, engaging and incredibly energetic – Stephanie, Angie and Sakina are all of this and way more! … They offered us a rich variety of performance styles and delivered once again! We are already excited about what they can do for us next year!”

Raising The Roof At RAF Benson

The purpose was to entertain the members and families of the RAF Puma Force, and Puma and Chinook Operational Conversion Unit, some of which are regularly deployed to Afghanistan. The CSE Circus team were first to entertain the children, who were delighted by all the tricks and props on offer. CSE favourites, Minibar Disaster and DJ Richard Sharkey (both paid for by CSE) then raised the hangar roof and rounded off a fantastic evening of entertainment.

CSE Brings The Panto Magic To Germany

In the run-up to Christmas, the CSE team joined forces with The Panto Company and travelled to Germany to bring a little piece of home to the families stationed on the Continent. The stellar cast consisted of several family favourites including Buttons, a handsome Prince, two very ugly sisters and a servant girl who becomes a Princess … it could only be Cinderella. Over three days, the CSE Panto bus visited a number of locations including Barker, Catterick and Mansergh Barracks, performing for school children and families who were treated to delightful songs, funky dance routines, whacky costumes, slapstick fight scenes, a little innuendo and the odd hairy black spider thrown in for good measure. It’s behind you...

A selection of paid for shows put on by CSE in 2017
A selection of the aforementioned client shows put on by CSE in 2017

CSE Beneficiary Shows: Home & Away

Cyprus Ahoy: CSE Show Entertains Aki 10s And Ledra Palace

Angie was tasked with transporting two bands and a comedian over to the Island to put on two CSE shows. First up was a show for Op Tosca where 7 RLC Regt were serving a 6-month deployment. Following this an event to celebrate the closing ceremony of the Akrotiri 10s Rugby Tournament. During the tour, we worked with RAF band ACTUNG! Spitfire. CSE liked them so much, the team got them back to open the show at RAF Marham.

Magic, Snow And Music At Cottesmore

CSE went to entertain the families of the 7 RLC Regiment who had been posted out to Cyprus. In early June, we took a production team, the Ed Sheeran Experience and the hugely popular Captain Fantastic to MOD Cottesmore where 60 smiling little faces awaited us in anticipation. Captain Fantastic got the show started with a clever blend of comedy, magic, a disco, a bit of limbo and a very popular snow machine. Jack, our Ed Sheeran Tribute, closed the event with his covers of ‘Galway Girl’ and ‘Shape of You’.

CSE Team Bring The ‘Boom’ To Estonia

In October, CSE brought its fully funded show to Op Cabrit, recently deployed to Estonia. The dream team consisting of comedians Simon Bligh and Paul Pirie, CSE’s gorgeous soloist, Brooke Supple and headline act Boomin. After a few hours sightseeing in the beautiful city of Tallinn, it was show time. It is fair to say that the boys and girls had a great time with a full house of around 1,000 UK troops who absolutely took the roof off. CSE’s Angie described the experience as being taken back to the good old CSE days. WO2 John Gillum said:

“Angie – It was a pleasure working with you and your, extremely talented, team. I will definitely be in touch in the future to organise other events"

CSE Brings The 70s Vibe To The Chelsea Pensioners

A regular visit for CSE, the team took a fantastic line up of entertainment for a live show at The Royal Hospital Chelsea. Always a CSE favourite. This year’s show had a decidedly 70s feel with Name That Tune’s Tom O’Connor compering, with our Karen Carpenter, Rod Stewart and ABBA tribute acts getting the residents on their feet to dance the night away.

CSE Personal Recovery Centre (PRC) Shows – Catterick, Colchester & Headley Court

At Headley Court, CSE put on a festival-style outdoor gig featuring children’s entertainment from Captain Fantastic, music from a Katy Perry & Taylor Swift tribute, covers from Hot Shots and a DJ, as well as fairground rides and bouncy castles. It was a fantastic day where the weather held until packing up time when the heavens opened.

CSE returned to both Catterick and Colchester PRCs for their annual beneficiary shows. CSE comedy favourites Simon Bligh, Al Barrie, Paul Pirie and Sol Bernstein give the audiences a belly full of laughs. Newcomer Laura Kelly rounded off the night at both venues with a very original ‘loop-pedal’ music performance, also featuring a male voice pedal called 'Trevor'.

A selection of the aforementioned beneficiary shows put on by CSE in 2017
A selection of the aforementioned beneficiary shows put on by CSE in 2017

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