HITCHIN welcomed a series of West End stars to town, in a glitzy fundraiser where they performed a series of musical numbers to raise money for the Queen Mother Theatre.

The star-studded event in Hitchin Priory, which featured BBC Joseph winner Lee Mead, TV personality Claire Sweeney and I’d Do Anything star Jodie Prenger, saw fans from as far as Merseyside and West Yorkshire attend.

The �9000 raised will go towards a Youth Wing for the theatre, as part of a �250,000 appeal.

The stars sang a series of West End classics, with Claire performing songs from Chicago, in which she starred as Roxie Hart. Jodie reprised her role as Nancy from the famous Oliver!, and Lee Mead sang hits from the musical Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat.

“IT was one of those magical events where everything fell into place,” said Bancroft Players chairman Richard Whitmore.

“The stars all sang their hearts out and the guests responded wonderfully.”

The event attracted a 200 strong audience, and sold out almost immediately. An auction that followed the cabaret raised �4000, with �1000 coming from a couple who offered the money if Claire Sweeney would join them for Sunday lunch as a guest- a motion that was greeted with cheers from the crowd.

Neil Rutherford, who is casting director for the Ambassador Theatre Group, the UK’s largest theatrical producer who own several theatres in the West End, produced the 50-minute cabaret.

This final big fundraiser for the two-year appeal brings the total made to nearly �240,000.