Mark Shenton must been wearing a turban and fingering his crystal ball when he wrote in his Stage blog on Monday “I always say there is no true objectivity in reviewing; we inevitably bring who we are to what we write and it is sometimes (though we try to make adjustments for personal circumstances) dictated by just how we are feeling that day. You’re not always in the mood for Chekhovian or Ibsenite misery.” Indeed.
Poor Mr Ibsen didn’t really stand much of a chance coming the night after the Whingers had been so overly-entertained at the Hackney Empire’s Golden Years of Variety.
As Andrew had mused “If only all theatre could be like this; I’d be there every night”.
What was not to like? Roy Hudd, Melvyn Hayes, Tony Hatch on the old joanna with his ‘Downtown’ and ‘Messing About on the River’ by way of his Crossroads/Neighbours/Emmerdale themes, Barry Cryer, Sharon D Clarke, Paul Zerdin’s brilliant vent act, Clive Rowe and a stage crammed with pantomime Dames, Rick Wakeman playing nursery rhymes in the style of classical composers (and Les Dawson), the hilarious – it’s a live thing, trust us on this – Joe Pasquale, 89 year-old bird song impersonating legend Ronnie Ronalde and plate-spinners Andy Van Buren and Allyson to name but a few. Yes, plate-spinning! Now that’s what we call entertainment. Read the rest of this entry »