Copyright - A P  -  2009 -2010
Everyone looked splendid in their finery. They travelled in taxis from their hotel to the brightly lit Concert Hall, and were helped from their vehicles by smartly dressed Ushers.  Oooh! This was really 'Putting on the Ritz'!

Some of the members of the ship's crew were the first to arrive with their lady, or gentlemen companions. Captain Guinness was with Miss Bella, and they were followed by Jimmy and Nelly, Cody and Morgan, Rudy and RN Scooch, Dr Charlie and Madame Stella, and Guinness N with the lovely Tess.
After a little while, a white limousine arrived, and everyone caught their breath in admiration as Killian alighted, looking like a true Prima Donna. With her were her little sister Katie S, Mackenzie Jane and Sister Ella. Tuckerotti and Brady followed close behind.

Killian looked positively radiant as she bowed graciously to the Usher who escorted her to the vestibule, and she gave a beaming smile to all those who were observing.

Then she disappeared into the private area back stage, to meet with Shadow and wish him the best for his performance. (Or did she take Katie's advice and tell him to 'Break a leg'!).
Everyone was seated, and soon a very smart looking Shadow crossed to the centre of the stage and bowed to his audience.Then, he moved to the Grande Piano and paused for a minute as if gathering his thoughts and calming his nerves. He raised his paws over the keyboard and began to play.

You could have heard a pin drop!

In the first half of the programme, he played selections from the works of Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Liszt. He was in top form and Killian was rapt. Tuckerotti smiled happily as he watched her eager appreciation of this young man's Art.

At the close of the first half of the recital Shadow took several bows, then retired to rest during the interval.

Then, something quite unexpected and quite unannounced happened!  Hurley approached the stage and tapped on the microphone to make sure it was working. He cleared his throat and began to address the audience:

"Friends, we have a surprise for you. I discussed this with Shadow and he agreed to this slight departure from the programme."  He paused to clear his throat again.

"During the interval, we decided to give you some special entertainment. We have with us, three lovely ladies who are accomplished ballerinas." He paused once more and looked into the faces of what was now a very curious audience.

 "These three talented young dancers were rejected by the Ballet Company they auditioned for, but I have seen them dance, and it pleases me to sponsor them in their work. They will return to the US and join the Ballet Company in New York, but for now, they are going to perform for YOU!"

He turned to the wings and nodded to a stage hand who was about to turn on a recorded version of a Chopin Valse which Shadow had played earlier.

He turned again to the audience and gave one of his charming smiles.

"I give you now," he began, "Brandy G, Darcy, and Khaki - in their debut performance!"

Everyone applauded as the music began, and the three girls flitted onto the stage and enchanted them with their beautiful dancing.
At the end of their performance everyone gave them a standing ovation, and Brandy G, Darcy and Khaki had never felt so happy. Hurley and Shadow had made it all possible!

The second half of the recital commenced, and Shadow played modern selections from the pens of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rogers and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

He received 5 encores and the audience LOVED him!

It was a fitting end to their visit to France. The next day they would be boarding the Wheaten Princess once more. Next stop ITALY.

Their stay in France had been a truly memorable experience and there were many pictures, videos, and souvenirs to remember it by.

Killian, Tuckerotti and Brady, and Shadow too of course,  would be travelling on to Venice with their friends on board the Wheaten Princess, so there was still much fun to be had by all.

Tomorrow was another day!