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The Alabama Cabaret 2009

Published Thursday 5 March 2009 at 11:10 by Robin Duke

Like the Blackpool Tower Circus along the promenade, the gap between this venue’s summer and winter line-up speaks volumes for the town’s bid to be a year-round resort.

Headliner, host and compere Leye D Johns has been at the helm for all 15 years of the venue’s history, but somehow he is as fresh and as funny now as when the paint was still wet.

He might not have planned it that way, but these days he works harder now than when he arrived with the fittings all that time ago.

Then, he was more or less a link man in the camp style of former Blackpool favourite Jack Diamond - now he works tirelessly throughout the evening combining warm-up current affair comedy with worryingly energetic song and dance routines from musicals such as Oklahoma!, West Side Story, South Pacific and 42nd Street.

And just when he seems to have covered all bases, back he comes in an Amy Winehouse parody.

This season he has been joined by Storm Showgirls - a good-looking and equally hard-working team who combine Kristy Speed’s contemporary choreography with the more traditional West End and Broadway scenes.

A rota of vocalists completes the Thursday to Saturday cast, with Damian Matthews being one of the most frequent and popular visitors.

He fits seamlessly into the proceedings with wide-ranging vocals and an infectious personality which is as at home with modern country as it is with swing and rock’n’roll.

Mondays feature Jane Frazier, Tuesdays see Leye D Johns looking back over highlights from his 15 years and Wednesdays star Bruce McLaren.

Production information

The Alabama, Liberty's On the Square, Blackpool , February 19-November 21

Leye D Johns
Kristy Speed
Leye D Johns, Storm Showgirls, Damian Matthews
Running time:

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014