Joy as Bee Gees tribute act perform in Chesterfield market brightening up afternoon for shoppers as Covid restrictions ease
A Bee Gees tribute act have spoken of the “wonderful” reaction they got from shoppers while they performed in Chesterfield market last week.
Mark Tillotson and Maggie Marsden wowed residents and market traders with their take on the iconic Bee Gees as they went around Chesterfield market interacting with shoppers and miming the words to the band’s 70s hits on Thursday, July 22.
The duo, who are from Markmark Productions and residents at Barnsley Civic Theatre, were hired by Chesterfield Borough Council as part of their Love Chesterfield campaign to try and enhance the shopping experience for people returning to the market now lockdown measures have eased.
Mark and Maggie performed at the market place in the spirit of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 wearing tracksuits with ‘Team BGee’ on the back and miming to Night Fever, Island’s In The Stream and other classic tunes.
The council have booked a number of street entertainers, including performer Elton Wong, with more set to take to the market place stage in the coming months to entertain the community and encourage more visitors to the town centre.
Mark, who runs the festival and street performer theatre company, explained the reaction he and Maggie got from the community.
The 50-year-old performer said: "It was wonderful.
"Chesterfield, their events team, are really working hard on using outdoor arts to develop confidence in public spaces so that is really a great focus and you can see it on the faces of the people.
"It brings some joy to the town.
"For some reason this show really appealed to women really of all ages.
"They were just coming up, there was a couple saying “this is fabulous, you've made my day, this is wonderful” and asking us what's happening.”
Markmark Productions have worked with the Arts Council, Outdoor Arts UK and Public Health England to develop risk assessments and safe practices to enable outdoor street performances to go ahead during the pandemic – with masked shows and performers using comedy in their acts to promote safety.
"Actors have been wearing masks for two and a half thousand years, actors are very used to wearing masks, whereas the general public weren't around 11 or 12 months ago”, Mark added.
Mark admitted it had been “tricky” for the company, who were securing around 25% of their normal workload due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Councillor Kate Sarvent, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centre and visitor economy, said: “I’m delighted that these fantastic street entertainers are quickly becoming the talk of the town, our team have worked really hard to try and book a wide variety of acts and activities that support our town centre.
“As part of the Love Chesterfield campaign we want to create a vibrant atmosphere in the town centre that encourages people to spend more time in Chesterfield and visit some of the many fantastic local businesses that we have.
“Over the next few months, you’ll see many more of these fantastic acts in our town centre, especially around busy market days and our events programme.
"Please visit the town centre, enjoy the entertainment, shop local and share your experiences online using #LoveChesterfield, because we all love Chesterfield and we want to see the town and our businesses not only survive but thrive.”