Television’s Stars In Their Eyes may have passed it’s sell-by date but this full production stage adaptation, utilising the talent of some of its successes combined with various other wannabes, has never seemed fresher.
Take a handful of tribute acts (Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, Shirley Bassey and Robbie Williams in one edition, Lennon and McCartney, Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury, and Neil Diamond in the other), a trio of excellent musicians, an established comedy compere and four expertly choreographed dancers and the result is an irresistibly unpretentious show which proves that if the formula’s right then the audience is still there.
Newcomer Matt Byrne is a showstopper as Robbie Williams – earning his standing ovation with two sets of his inspiration’s rock and swing material containing enough of his own charisma to reveal he could make it on his own.
Hamilton Browne’s Lionel Richie combines a soulful voice and familiar material to win the audience over.
Maxine Barry as Shirley Bassey looks and sounds superb with some of the Dame’s best moments, complete with facial mannerisms, waving arms and knowing winks.
Jack Danson’s Blackpool pedigree goes back to his Mad Jacks’ Magic Circus band so it’s no surprise he can command a stage. He dives into Rod Stewart’s back catalogue, throws his lightweight microphone stand around and plays Jack The Lad with the dancers – and just about gets away with it.
Tom Bright’s comedy compering adds a seamless quality to a production which fits so perfectly into this venue it would be hard to imagine it staged anywhere else.
Central Pier, Blackpool , June 20-October 29
- Richard Chance
- Trevor and Brenda Chance
- Wendy Hollands
- Cast includes
- Tom Bright, Jack Danson, Hamilton Browene, Maxine Barrie and Matt Byrne
- Running time
- 2hrs 40mins