A Gala Charity Variety Show...
What are those three words associated with theatre that make your heart sink, your brain seize and your stomach turn? They are, of course, "Gala", "Charity" and "Variety". But put them all together and you have a recipe for massive organ failure. The known killer that is, the 'Gala Charity Variety Show'.
So it was with some trepidation that on Sunday night, courtesy of Roger, we went to A Gala Charity Variety Show Live from Her Majesty's. We had visions of end of the pier has-beens, the BBC's Saturday night Seaside Special and lame cruise ship entertainers. We thought it would be really cringe-worthy. But (with a couple of exceptions) we were proven quite wrong. The show was fantastic (if a little long) and had us laughing from start to finish - sometime 'at' but mostly 'with' the acts.
The All Star Band with Donovan Blackwood : Standard house band.
Mark Raffles : 85 year old magician. The tricks were pretty lame.
The Tiller Girls : The pink feathered, high-kicking troupe in their 60s (and beyond).
The Holloways : Husband and wife play the xylophone (mercy me).
Wolfgang : Uber-cute 'Le Cirque du Soliel' performer rolls around on his huge RhonRad (!)
Paul Zenon : The Channel 4 'comedy magician' - actually very good.
The Overtures : Lame 60s tribute band.
Boom : Man playing the drums. Oh dear.
Paul Zerdin : Fantastic ventriloquism.
The Alexis Brothers : Oh My God. Amazing, sexy 'Le Cirque du Soliel' balance brothers.
Wally Eastwood : Breathe-taking juggling. And a nice line in self deprecation.
Tribute to Buddy : Oh, please.
It was a three hour show but it flew by. And we were genuinely surprised at how much we enjoyed it. Well, they do say variety is the spice of life, I suppose.