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The Magic of Variety review at Babbacombe Theatre Torquay

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Some new faces join the regulars in what is billed as the country’s longest running summer show.

Simon Mansfield was a welcome addition with his instrumental and vocal talents as was the diminutive Dean Winters. Both new recruits slot seamlessly into this cast of talented performers.

Andy Oakley is the production’s pivotal performer, confidently eliciting gales of laughter from his impish humour. His mischievous command of the audience is, as ever, a delight as he embarks on his comedy spree with gusto.

In this show he develops his skills as a comic character. Dean Winters joins him on piano as the other half of their pantomime-esque drag duo Binge and Racket for a well delivered account of ‘Oh, Dear What Can the Matter Be?’

As a gawkish hillbilly Oakley capers through some red necked buffoonery in the company of Dean and magician Peter Baffles as Three Hillbilly Gruffs in what is an excellent routine.

The easy style and slightly bemused expression of Peter Baffles swings wryly between quiet confidence and surprise. His gravity-defying levitating table trick was a piece of finely polished illusion.

Donna-Marie was in fine voice in her interpretation of The Flower Duet, Lakme with Simon – his soaring saxophone was a perfect accompaniment to singer Nikki Jordan’s uplifting Love Will Keep Us Together.

Vivacious dance routines were delivered by Danze Chique who joined the Tip Tap Top Kids for a full company tribute to the musical Billy Elliot. Four teams of youngsters will rotate throughout the season. On press night 11 year-old Oliver Taylor as Billy gave a stunning performance with a sparkling repertoire of tap, ballet, jazz and modern steps.

Production Information

Babbacombe Theatre, Torquay, February 14-October 26

Colin Matthews
Babbacombe Theatre
Cast includes
Andy Oakley, Dean Winters, Pete Baffles, Donna-Marie, Simon Mansfield, Nikki Jordan, Danze Chique
Running time

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