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Apr 2nd

Nina Kristofferson's Billie Holiday Story @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

It’s a sad fact that some of the world’s most talented artists live their lives in alcohol and drug-induced hazes and die tragically young.  The comparison between Amy Winehouse’s tragically short life and that of Billie Holiday is very marked, but we can take comfort that their music will remain forever.  Billie died in 1959 at the age of 44 of cirrhosis of the liver, after many years of alcohol and drug abuse.

Billie Holiday’s story is extremely sad, beginning with childhood rape and prostitution, but somehow she managed to escape and at 15 became a singer.  Her unique style of improvisation was based on hearing Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong singing and wanting to use her voice as an instrument.  Without any formal training and with a limited range, she created sounds that are virtually impossible to emulate even today. 

Frank Sinatra was influenced by her performances on 52nd Street as a young man. He told Ebony in 1958 about her impact:
With few exceptions, every major pop singer in the US during her generation has been touched in some way by her genius. It is Billie Holiday who was, and still remains, the greatest single musical influence on me. Lady Day is unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing in the last twenty years.

Lady Day was the nickname given to Billie by her old friend saxophonist Lester Young and the name stuck.  Between 1944-47 she won the Esquire Magazine’s Gold and Silver Awards for Best Female Leading Jazz Vocalist.  Billie Holiday was posthumously inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old and that have "qualitative or historical significance."  In 1972, Diana Ross portrayed Holiday in the film Lady Sings the Blues, which is loosely based on the 1956 autobiography of the same name. The film earned Ross a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Nina Kristofferson’s Billie Holiday Story is touring following a successful run in the West End’s Charing Cross Theatre in 2013.  Supported by a 5 piece band, the show features some of her most memorable songs God Bless the Child, Don’t Explain, All of Me, The Man I love, Lover Man, Strange Fruit and Body and Soul amongst others.  Interspersed with the songs, Nina acts out some of the stirring and haunting memories that plagued Billie throughout her life.

Nina’s extensive career has encompassed theatre, TV, panto, Shakespeare and cabaret.  It’s very tough to perform a one-woman show, but Nina is supported throughout this show by her brilliant band Allan Rodgers (Musical Director/Pianist), Martin Shaw (Trumpet), Phil Donnelly (Double Bass), Albert Gaza (Tenor Sax/Clarinet) and Elliott Henshaw (Drums). It’s so hard to encapsulate the specific sounds that Billie Holiday could make with her voice, but occasionally Nina manages it on Don’t Explain and All of Me.  Nina’s rich, mellifulous tones reminded me more of Sarah Vaughan, a contemporary and sometime rival of Billie Holiday.

Despite her continuing popularity and influence on today’s pop singers, sadly the 1200 seat theatre was only about a quarter full.  I think it would perhaps have more impact in a smaller theatre, where the intimate nature of the story could be more fully appreciated.

The tour continues to:
8th April The Churchill Theatre, Bromley
9th April New Wimbledon Theatre
16th April Grimsby Auditorium
17th April Grand Opera House, York
1st May New Victoria Theatre
8th May New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Reviewed By:
Yvonne Delahaye
1st April 2014


Mar 27th

FAME - the Musical @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

‘You want fame? Well, fame costs and right here is where you start paying in sweat.’  These iconic words are still used today to promote the New York City High School for Performing Arts, where this musical is based.  Conceived by David de Silva, he enlisted British director Alan Parker to make the hugely successful 1980 film FAME, which was remade in 2009.  The film spawned a TV spin-off show featuring many of the original film cast Lee Curreri, Albert Hague, Gene Anthony Ray and Debbie Allen. Irene Cara, who played Coco Hernandez, had a massive worldwide hit with the title song and the movie won its composer, Michael Gore, two Academy Awards for Best Score and Best Song.

Thirty four years after the film’s release and people are still dreaming of stardom and success, but many now get fast-tracked through the route of reality TV, without the hard work, sweat and sacrifice professional training demands.  In 1967 journalist and broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge wrote ‘in the past if someone was famous or notorious it was for something – as a writer or an actor or a criminal; for some talent or distinction or abomination.  Today one is famous for being famous.  People who come up to one in the street or in public places to claim recognition nearly always say ‘I’ve seen you on the telly.’

FAME The Musical has retained its following despite many incarnations and this new production has perhaps lost some of the dynamism of the past.  Gone are the iconic legwarmers, which is a great shame especially as some of the audience arrived in them complete with lycra leggings!  This production has brought the story up-to-date complete with mobile phones, but I thought it would have been better to keep it set in the 80s as a timepiece of bygone times, before the advent of reality TV.  The story focuses more on the relationships between Carmen Diaz (Jodie Steele) and Schlomo (Harry Blumenau), the extraordinarily lithe Alex Thomas as Tyrone and Iris (Sasi Strallen) and the crush Serena (Sarah Harlington) has on Nick (Alex Joran-Mills).

We have to wait until the second act to see some of the best dance routines, which I’d have like to have seen more of, by Director and Choreographer Gary Lloyd.

Landi Oshinowo as Miss Sherman
There was a stellar performance by Landi Oshinowo as Miss Sherman, whose rich, gospel tones lifted the whole production.

FAME has enjoyed seven West End runs since premiering in the USA in 1988 and continues to be performed all over the world.  There is only one tune you’ll be singing on your way home and that, of course, is the title track FAME and it’s gonna live forever!

The show runs at The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury to 29th March and the tour continues to:

Liverpool Empire
14th-19th April 
Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre
21st-26th April
Regent Theatre Stoke-on-Trent
28th April-3rd May

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye

Mar 23rd

Sing-a-Long-a Grease @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye
Hands up anyone who spent Saturday night wearing a paper bag on their head?  Just me and my friend Tricia then?  Oh and about 1000 others at The Waterside Theatre who joined in the fun for Sing-a-long-a Grease!  It’s a fun night where we were all given a party bag with tissue, balloon, chequered flag and popper to use at appropriate times during the film, as well as the bag itself (no we honestly didn't just decide to wear it throughout!).

The evening gives people a chance to dress up and there were some wonderful costumes, from Pink Ladies with pink wigs and jackets and the guys dressed as a T-bird.  The evening begins with the host warming everyone up and holding a competition for the best costumes.  About 30 people took to the stage and first to win a prize was an 8 year-old boy, dressed as Danny and with all the cool moves sorted out.  Two ladies who’d spent some time making eye-catching costumes with rollers in their hair also won prizes as did a brave lady who’d walked through the streets wearing pyjamas, a dressing gown and carrying a teddy bear!

Watching the film again and singing along to the great songs, Hoplessly Devoted, You're the One That I want etc. and joining in with the action is such a enjoyable way to spend an evening.  If you’ve ever been tempted to one of these nights, then go along.  The great thing is you can take your kids as well and enjoy a fun night out as a family and have something to talk about for years to come.

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye
22nd March 2014
Mar 5th

Tonight's The Night @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

With over a hundred million records sold worldwide, Rod Stewart is one of the most successful singer-songwriters of all time.  From his early albums singing folk, rock, R&B and soul, Rod went on to win great acclaim and a prestigious Grammy Award in 2005 for his popular album Stardust..The Great American Songbook Vol 111. Renowned for his raspy, distinctive voice, Rod can sing any genre of music and his old mate Elton John recently described Rod as ‘the second-best rock singer ever’.
There are very few singers with a career spaning 50 years who could write and release a new album entering the UK charts at No 1, but that’s what Rod achieved in 2013 with Time.  It’s a classic rock album, with Rod very much back at the top of his game, proving that at 69 his popularity still continues to grow.  I’ve been a fan of Rod’s since being introduced to his music by my first great love as a teenager, so his music creates some very fond memories for me and I was looking forward to seeing this musical.

Tonight's the Night is a "compilation musical" by comedian Ben Elton, based on the music of Rod Stewart. It opened in October 2003 at the Victoria Palace Theatre, and ran for just over a year.  The show is set in a gas station in the States where shy car mechanic Stu (Ben Heathcote) makes a Faustian pact with the Devil to swap his soul with Rod Stewart’s.  It’s a lighthearted romp interspersed with some of Rod’s greatest hits and hearing the songs sung with a different arrangement, makes you remember just how good some his lyrics are.
Michael McKell makes the most of playing Stoner, a character based on Mick Jagger and manages to upstage everyone whenever he’s on stage!  photo06.jpg
The star of the show for me though is Jade Ewen who plays Dee Dee.  She has such a beautiful tone to her voice and her performance is the most natural and convincing.  Jade represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009, achieving 5th place and then joined the girl group, Sugababes.

Personally I can’t say I enjoyed the storyline very much, but it was great to hear some of Rod’s songs again, although I thought the arrangement and belting out of one of my favourite's, This Old Heart of Mine, was a travesty. Still the audience enjoyed singing along with everyone on their feet for the end Megamix: Rhythm of My Heart/Maggie May/What Am I Gonna Do?/Stay with Me/Sailing.

The show continues at The Waterside until Saturday 8th March and the current tour continues into August.

• 3 - 8 Mar
• AYLESBURY Waterside
• 10 - 15 Mar
• BRIGHTON Theatre Royal
• 17 - 22 Mar
• New WIMBLEDON Theatre
• 24 - 29 Mar
• STOKE Regent Theatre
• 31 Mar - 5 Apr
• 14 - 19 Apr
• BROMLEY Churchill Theatre
• 21 - 26 Apr
• 28 Apr - 3 May
• YORK Grand Opera House
• 12 - 17 May
• DERRY Millennium Forum
• 19 - 24 May
• ABERDEEN His Majesty's
• 27 - 31 May
• SHEFFIELD Lyceum Theatre
• 2 - 14 Jun
• GLASGOW King's
• 16 - 21 Jun
• NOTTINGHAM Theatre Royal
• 23 Jun - 5 Jul
• BRISTOL Hippodrome
• 7 - 12 Jul
• OXFORD New Theatre
• 14 - 19 Jul
• NORWICH Theatre Royal
• 21 - 26 Jul
• WOKING New Victoria Theatre
• 28 Jul - 2 Aug
• CANTERBURY Marlowe Theatre

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye


Feb 28th

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye
Not a lot of people know that
in 1988 Sir Michael Caine was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his role as Lawrence Jameson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  He lost out to Tom Hanks in Big, but also nominated that year was John Cleese in A Fish Called Wanda.  Who would have thought that 3 of the funniest comedies ever made, which you can still roar with laugher at today, were made in the same year?  It’s a shame for Michael that the film was released in that year, as undoubtedly he would have won for his brilliant portrayal of the con artist had it been in a different year.  He did win the award 10 years later though for Little Voice, playing the seedy part of Ray.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels co-starred the master of physical comedy Steve Martin, as small time con artist Freddy Benson and Glenne Headly as Christine Colgate, who the duplicitous pair try to con out of $50,000 with hysterical results.  Directed by Frank Oz, the screenplay was written by Dale Launer, Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning. Shapiro and Henning co-wrote the 1964 film Bedtime Story, starring David Niven and Marlon Brando, which Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is based on.

In 2004 Jeffrey Lane wrote the book for the show and David Yazbek wrote the lyrics and music. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels the musical opened in California and went on to open at The Imperial Theatre on Broadway in January 2005, playing 626 performances before closing in September 2006.  The show received a string of Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations with Norbert Leo Butz winning both awards for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, for his role as Freddy Benson.

Finding the right cast for the UK production was essential and there couldn’t be anyone else but the superb Robert Lindsay to play the suave, sophisticated Lawrence Jameson.  Fans of his popular TV sitcom My Family may not know that he had a very successful career in musical theatre, winning an Oliver award for Best Actor in a Musical in 1985 for Me and My Girl.  The show transferred to Broadway and Robert went on to win both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards in 1987.  He has a great voice, is a consummate dancer and is a joy to watch as he ekes out every ounce of comedy as the slick, quick thinking con-man.

Rufus Hound (One Man, Two Guvnors) has a difficult task to compete with Steve Martin’s unforgettable Freddy Benson, but he manages to make it his own and there are some great visual gags, particularly in the second act.

TV and screen icon Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey, James Bond films) plays the elegant Muriel Eubanks in her first musical and proves that she’s also a wonderful all-round performer.

Doc Martin regular John Marquez plays Jameson’s corrupt police chief Andre Thibault, who manages his affairs for a cut of the proceeds. Lizzy Connolly gives an energetic performance as Oklahoma girl Jolene Oakes, whose ‘engagement’ to Jameson leads to the creation of Benson’s brilliantly funny Ruprecht.

The beautiful Katherine Kingsley gives a fantastic performance as Christine Colgate, the girl the two con men try to dupe and end up falling in love with.

It’s hard to emulate the success of the film, but the show works and is a really great evening’s entertainment.  The song lyrics are very funny, though I can’t remember any of the tunes, but you’ll certainly leave the theatre feeling uplifted having laughed all the way through.  It has made me want to see the film again to savour the characters again and again.

The show continues at the Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury until Saturday 1st March before opening at the Savoy Hill Theatre, London on 10th March 2014. Tickets available from

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye
Feb 18th

Some Girl I Used to Know @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

With the prevalence of social media in our lives it’s now very easy to re-connect with people from our past, bringing old memories flooding back.  What if your first real love contacted you through Facebook and you were tempted to pick up where you left off, all those years ago?  That’s the premise of this touching and amusing new musical play starring Denise Van Outen as Stephanie Canworth.  On the surface, Stephanie has it all, she’s rich, beautiful, runs a successful business and has a supportive husband and the media love her, but something is missing in her life.
The story takes us on a journey through Steph’s life and 7-year relationship with Sean, beginning in her teens when she partied hard and hopes were high.  We share with her the raw, intense emotions we all experienced in our youth and long to feel again as we move into middle age.  It’s a heart-warming story of a woman reliving rose-coloured memories and struggling with the realities of her life today.

Basildon-born Denise has been in the business since the age of 7, when she started out modelling knitting patterns.  She attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School and at 12 played Eponine in Les Miserables.  She went on to appear in the Anthony Newley directed production of Stop the World I want to Get Off and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In a long and varied career, Denise has presented Big Breakfast, played Roxie Hart in Chicago in the West End and on Broadway and made copious TV appearances as an actress, presenter and celebrity guest.  On screen Denise appears as Michelle Smith in the film of Ray Cooney’s farce Run for Your Wife.  She has also recorded numerous singles including duets with Andy Williams and Russell Watson.
The show opens with Denise singing some very familiar lyrics ‘say hello, wave goodbye’, but the arrangement is completely original and sweet  showcasing her rich, mezzo voice.  Then ‘Steph’ starts to tell us her story and we become a part of her confidences.  There’s quite a long 20 minute monologue at the beginning, which I felt would benefit from another song to break it up a little and also because she has such an amazing singing voice it would be good to hear more songs.  She also speaks very quickly and sometimes with her strong Essex accent we miss some of the lines, which is a shame, but those are minor points.

Denise co-wrote the show with Terry Ronald and it’s funny and recognisable. Denise allows herself to expose her vulnerable side towards to the end, with some very real, heart-felt emotions and we share her confusion and pain. The song arrangements are superb, especially Do You Really Want to Hurt Me and the title track Some Girl I Used to Know.
It really is one of the toughest things to stand alone on stage and hold an audience for 2 acts and Denise, quite rightly, received a standing ovation.  She’s a very talented lady and this show is proving a big hit around the country.

Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury Performances:   Tuesday1 8th & Wednesday 19th February @ 7.30 p.m.
Tickets:   £27.50
Box Office:   0844 871 7607 (bkg fee)
Groups Hotline:  0844 871 7614
Access Booking: 0844 871 7677 (bkg fee)
Online Booking: (bkg fee)

The tour continues to:
The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton 20th-22nd February
Wyvern Theatre, Swindon 24th-26th February
 and The Swan, High Wycombe 27th Feb-1st March
Further dates can be found on

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye

Dec 18th

Sleeping Beauty @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye
AWT Sleeping Beauty 2013 55 PressRes.jpg
Christmas is only a week away and with the tree and colourful decorations put up, cards sent and presents bought, it’s time to take the kids along to see the seasonal panto. Last year I was in a play at The English Theatre of Hamburg, so I missed out on the Christmas panto and was looking forward to another entertaining evening at The Waterside.
AWT Sleeping Beauty 2013 27 PressRes.jpg
Sleeping Beauty
is the fairy story of the Princess Beauty (Holly Brewer) who is cursed by the Wicked Fairy Carabosse (Anita Dobson) when she’s a baby.  The curse states that when Beauty reaches 18 she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die.  Fortunately the Lilac Fairy (Frankie Armitage) is able to change the curse so that she doesn’t die but sleeps for 100 years and can only be woken by handsome Prince Antonia (Christian Lund).  In the midst of this, Beauty’s childhood friend Chester The Jester (Andy Collins) and Nurse Molly Coddle (Graham Kent) provide laughter and mayhem and keep us all involved.
AWT Sleeping Beauty 2013 15 PressRes.jpg
Star of stage and screen Anita Dobson is absolutely fabulous as The Wicked Fairy Carabosse. She relishes her role as the bad fairy, making us all hiss and boo and looks stunning in her long purple dress and short tutu. Shooting to fame as Angie Watts in Eastenders, Anita’s TV, film and stage career has seen her nominated for an Olivier Award, Evening Standard Award and London Theatre Critics Award. Anita’s success in Strictly Come Dancing re-affirmed her place in the nation’s hearts.
AWT Sleeping Beauty 2013 04 PressRes.jpg
Comic and TV Presenter Andy Collins makes a welcome return to his home town and really knows how to work the audience.  Everyone loved The Twelve Days of Christmas with Andy dashing around throwing objects over his shoulder getting more and more exhausted.  He really works incredibly hard throughout the show and I’m sure by the end of the run will be ready for a holiday!
AWT Sleeping Beauty 2013 37 PressRes.jpg
There’s plenty of time to go and see this magical panto, so make sure you don’t miss out on the show guaranteed to put some sparkle into the festive season.

Performances:   Thursday 19th to Sunday 5th January
Tickets:   £11.90 to £41.40
Box Office:   0844 871 7607 (bkg fee)
Groups Hotline:  0844 871 7614
Access Booking: 0844 871 7677 (bkg fee)
Online Booking: (bkg fee)

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye
Dec 2nd

Paul Carrack @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

Ask a range of people if they know who Paul Carrack is and you’ll often be met by blank stares, but sing a few lines of Tempted and Over My Shoulder and recognition sets in.  As lead vocalist with Ace, Mike and The Mechanics and Squeeze, nearly 40 years since Ace had a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic with How Long? (astonishingly the first song composed by Paul himself), Paul continues to pack out theatres with his amazing rich vocals and excellent 7 piece band.

In a recent BBC4 documentary (I wish I’d known about and seen!), Paul was christened ‘The Man with the Golden Voice’ and the title couldn’t be more apt.  Listening to Paul singing ballads with such real emotion he constantly touches your heart and I often find myself moved to tears.  There are very few singers who have the ability to resonate so deeply with people’s feelings, but the poignant lyrics and melodies make the songs so special and unique.

Fresh from a worldwide tour as featured artiste with old friend, Eric Clapton,which he’ll be continuing in 2014, Paul was back at The Waterside with his own amazing Sheffield-based band performing songs from his vast catalogue.

Opening the show was support act Robert Vincent on acoustic guitar, singing some of his own compositions from his new album Life in Easy Steps.  Robert hails from Liverpool and is a blues and country music singer-songwriter.  With the backing of Paul Carrack, you know he’s going to be successful, but have a listen to some of his beautiful tracks on and decide for yourself.

After a short interval, Paul and his band bounded on stage with a high octane opening singing Life’s too Short and a couple of rock songs, before Paul moved onto the keyboard and sang my personal favourite Love Will Keep Us Alive.  It’s a song Paul wrote for The Eagles, but whenever I hear Paul sing it with his gorgeous honey vocals, it gets right to my heart and I find myself touched to tears. Thankfully they swiftly move on to a great up-tempo number Better Than Nothing, with it’s jazz-funk riffs and sax, it gave Paul a chance to show what an incredible musician he is with his keyboard solo.

We all joined in to wave our hands and sing along to Tempted, before Paul sang some songs from his new album Rain or Shine.  His new single That’s all that Matters to Me  is getting some air-play and is a lovely song written for his daughter as she embarks on her world travels.

Paul and the band were then joined by former support act TinLin to sing together their sweet new song Make it Right For You.  Another Mike and the Mechanics hit followed The Living Years with those memorable lyrics ‘Say it Loud, Say it Clear’, with a couple more songs before finishing on the unforgettable How Long with everyone standing, clapping and singing along.  The packed auditorium shouted, whistled and applauded for an encore and, naturally, it could only be Over My Shoulder

I pondered on how many of the acts that have come through X-Factor over the last 10 years will still be performing to packed houses in 40 years time?  This is the second time I’ve seen Paul Carrack in concert and you can hear all the different instruments with a perfect balance of sound and clarity and with Paul's delicious vocals, it doesn't get much better than this!  After the first concert I saw 2 years ago I bought his album A Different Hat, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and it’s one that gets played over and over again.  There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be buying his latest one very soon and I really look forward to seeing him on his next tour. 

There are lots of video clips of Paul Carrack on YouTube and you can also visit his website for more info to listen to and download some of his tracks.

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye

Nov 19th

Priscilla Queen of the Desert @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye
Grab your feather boa and head to The Waterside Theatre this week for the glitziest, campest show on the touring circuit, guaranteed to put some sparkle back into a cold, grey November.  Priscilla is the heartwarming, uplifting story of three drag queens who hire a battered old bus to travel across Oz from Sydney, through the outback and small towns, to change their lives and star in a cabaret in Alice Springs.

Priscilla Queen of The Desert started life as a film in 1994 with Terence Stamp as Bernadette and quickly became a cult hit across the globe, winning an Oscar for Best Costume.  Writer/Director Stephen Elliott and Allan Scott adapted the film to create the stage musical version opening in Sydney in 2006 which quickly became a massive success, adding 1970s pop songs.  The show has won a string of awards including WhatsOnStage.Com and Society of Box Office Managers for Best New Musical, as well Olivier and Broadway World UK Awards for Best Costume.

Jason Donovan reprises his role as Tick (Mitzi), which he first created in the West End.  Jason has had a varied career, starting out in Neighbours, then becoming a multi-million selling recording artist, playing Frank-n-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, a succession of West End and touring roles, being a finalist in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and last year reaching the final Strictly Come Dancing.  Jason plays Tick, the gay drag queen who misses his son and yearns to see him, unbeknown to his friends, which is why he decides to cross the country and see his son.  It’s a tricky role to play to get the balance between being camp and flamboyant and portraying the inner turmoil he feels about not knowing how his son will accept who he is, but Jason plays it perfectly.  Amongst the exuberance, colour and sparkle, I Say a Little Prayer is heartfelt and sincere and provides some pathos to the comedy.
Bernadette is played by Richard Grieve, having previously played Tick in the West End.  Richard is best known as Jonny Foster in Emmerdale and in his native Australia, Sam Krantz in Neighbours and Dr Lachlan Fraser in Home and Away.  UK theatre credits include Footloose the Musical and Bells are Ringing.  He gives a stunning performance as Bernadette, with just the right amount of strength and vulnerability for us to really care about if she can find romance with Bob (Giles Watling).

Graham Weaver is wonderfully camp and outrageous as Adam (Felicia), so sure of who he is that he’s unable to comprehend the homophobic small-town behaviour they experience on the journey.
The show is so joyful and opulent, with sumptuous, colourful costumes that sparkle and dazzle and amaze as they become more and more flamboyant and ostentatious.  I loved The Three Divas flying in to open with It’s Raining Men and appearing throughout the show and the songs are all about having fun including Venus, Boogie Wonderland, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.  For me though the show’s theme tune has to be I Will Survive, as it perfectly expresses the strength and resilience they’ve all needed to survive the prejudices and biogtry they’ve all suffered.  The cast all belt it out creating a vibrant lasting end to the first and second acts. 

If you didn’t catch it in the West End, or even if you did and want to see it again (like me) you really don’t want to miss this show.  It's Entertainment with a capital 'E'!

Performances:   Mon 18 – Sat 23 Nov
Mon – Thu Evenings 7.30pm, Fri 5pm & 8.15pm, Sat 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Tickets:   £10 - £35 (Premium seats also available) 
Box Office:   0844 871 7607 (bkg fee)
Groups Hotline:  0844 871 7614
Access Booking: 0844 871 7677 (bkg fee)
Online Booking: (bkg fee)
For further tour dates and info visit:

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye
Nov 17th

Ha Ha Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye
If you enjoy mad-cap, knockabout, physical comedy where you become a part of the show, then you’ll love Ha Ha Holmes.  The mayhem and laughter are relentless, as 3 actors and a pianist attempt to tell the story of The Hound of The Baskervilles, with the help of the audience of course!  Before the houselights have dimmed, writer/director and co-star Ben Langley invites us into this crazy world and the fun begins and doesn’t stop.
Former King of the Jungle, Joe Pasquale takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes.  With over 20 years as a top stand-up comedian, Joe has a list of theatre acting credits including Tom, Dick & Harry, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Dr in the House and The Wizard of Oz.   He presented  The Price is Right and has guest hosted the Paul O’Grady Show many times, as well as voicing characters in the Garfield and Muppets movies.  Joe has appeared 6 times in The Royal Variety Show and has become a mainstay of pantomime selling out in every performance each Christmas.
With theatre credits ranging from Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Three Men in a Boat to pantomime, Ben Langley is a master of physical comedy, playing not only Dr Watson, but a variety of other roles throughout the show.

Another pantomime regular, Andrew Fettes also has an extensive CV, including Spider’s Web, Taking Steps, The Ghost Train and most recently in the West End playing Albert in Steptoe and Son.

Ben and Andrew met 10 years ago and became founding members of the Ha Ha Boys, touring extensively with Ha Ha Halmet and Ha Ha Hitler.  Collaborating with Jamie Wilson Productions has helped the shows to be taken into bigger venues and enjoyed by wider audiences.  Joe Pasquale is a new member of the Ha Ha team, helping them to attract an even more diverse audience.  The trio are accompanied throughout by actor/musician Andy Pickering, who becomes the foil for some of their crazy antics.
The show is very clever, witty and, to be honest, a bit bonkers, but you just find yourself laughing at even the silliest of gags.  As the actors are all having so much fun and put so much energy into the show, we share in their exuberance and have a zany night.  It’s original, daft and very British and l guarantee will lift your spirits on a gloomy winter evening.  For information about the show and next year’s tour dates visit Their next production will be Ha Ha Hood – no prizes for guessing where that will be set!

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye