Sydney readies to Light the Night again

Light the Night producer Shaun Rennie has encouraged Sydney’s theatre community to support the event this year, saying it is more important than ever to keep fundraising money rolling in.

Now in its fifth year, Light the Night has become an extremely popular annual charity concert. To date, funds raised at this event have exceeded $200,000 and all proceeds go towards leukaemia research.

Light the Night is inspired by Matthew Rennie, brother of musical theatre performer Shaun. Matthew was a brave young man who fought a three year battle against leukaemia. Unfortunately Matthew passed away shortly before the 2007 concert.

The 2009 concert will feature a diverse selection of talented artists, who give freely of their time to help raise money for this worthy cause, including Australia’s biggest musical comedy act Tripod, multi-award winning and multi-platinum selling Australian songstress Katie Noonan, charismatic singer-songwriter Lior, Australian Idol sensation Matt Corby, Australia’s leading man of musical theatre David Harris, contemporary a cappella group The Idea of North, musical theatre stars Christie Whelan and Monique Montez and cast members of the smash-hit Broadway musical Wicked. More performers will be announced in coming weeks.

Matthew Rennie
Matthew Rennie, brother of performers Shaun and Adam Rennie

“I am so thrilled with the progress and growth of Light the Night over the years,” Rennie told

“Five years ago, at the first annual Light the Night, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that this event would have grown into such the special and supported event it is today. I am honored and so grateful that the community, in particular the theatre community, has embraced Light the Night in such a major way.”

Rennie admitted that when Matthew passed away in 2007, he was concerned that support for the event would diminish. But he has set about ensuring that the event remains his brother’s legacy.

“Over the past four years Light the Night has raised over $200,000 for Leukaemia Research, and we are very proud of that,” Rennie said.

“I often think to myself, how amazing it is that this incredibly positive event, that helps countless people fighting Leukaemia everyday, has come from what was a very difficult time for my family. I know it helps all of us in our grieving process, knowing that Matthew’s death hasn’t been completely in vain.

“But that is why it is so important for people to continue to support Light the Night. Every day in Australia, eight otherwise healthy people, are diagnosed with Leukaemia. Approximately 1,500 Australians will die of Leukaemia this year, the equivalent of almost four people every day. Too many people in are going through the heartache and horror of what my family went through. By supporting Light the Night, people really are making a major difference in the lives of thousands.”

Light the Night will be held on Monday, October 19 at the City Recital Hall in Sydney.

Bookings: (02) 8256 2222.

This year, the Rising Star will perform at Light The Night, just weeks after being crowned the winner.

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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