Skip to main content

Review of That'll Be The Day Christmas Show at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

I am not entirely sure why I was a little reticent initially to the offer by a friend to accompany a group to see That'll Be The Day. It wasn't that I would have a problem with the music, as be it 50s, 60s, 70s or whatever decade, good music for me goes beyond the generations (although obviously the 80s are best). Perhaps it was that this show had a reputation for being popular with the grey brigade (although I have plenty of my own grey now)? This made no sense either, as some of our number were quite a bit younger than my 39 years. I think actually the problem in my head was going to a Christmas show on the 26th November. I have absolutely nothing against Christmas, but a whole evening of its music was not my ideal evening. Or so I thought.

It was actually a superb evening of music and comedy, which although very possibly is a little long at three hours with the interval, rarely disappoints. While this is a Christmas show, there is enough non seasonal music to keep it being a festive overload. There are some superb sections which included the Christmas at The Cabin section hosted by a nice take off of the Fab 4 and guests. There was also a quite stunning performance of Gene Pitney's Somethings Got A Hold of my Heart. Another highlight from the evening and a bit of an emotional one was a lovely tribute to the late great Mr David Bowie. An epic collection of imaginary was projected upon the screen during a wonderful and fitting performance of Starman.

As well as the obvious brilliant music, there were a lot of comedy moments, mostly taking off past characters of sitcoms and double acts past. We had Steptoe and Son, Laural & Hardy and a Christmas Carol spoof featuring Alf Garnet as Scrooge. It was all very end of the pier stuff, and often very near the knuckle at times for a family show, but for the best part it was genuinely funny, if a little dated. With Garnet, it also managed to be as politically incorrect as you would expect. I'll leave you to judge on your position on that one.

I also have to say that the production values were impressive as well, with a last group of performers, a busy wardrobe and a very well utilised screen for video. There were sticky moments at times, but these rarely came where it mattered withing the music pieces, as each performer was perfectly selected to capture the likenesses.

I have to say that That'll Be The Day was a pleasant surprise, although looking at its incredible thirty year history of packing them in, perhaps it shouldn't have been. A really enjoyable evening of classic music, brilliant performers and some very nice comic moments. A harmless evening of entertainment.

««««


Performance reviewed: Saturday 26th November, 2016 at the Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton.

That'll Be The Day Christmas Show was a single night performance at the Royal & Derngate but continues its tour, details at http://www.thatllbetheday.com/

That'll Be The Day returns to the Royal & Derngate on 2nd June, 2017. 
For further details visit the Royal & Derngate website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of The Last Ship at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

When The Last Ship first launched as a musical on Broadway (adapted from a concept album by Sting), it was received with a mixture of reaction, most thoughts though of the negative nature, the critics especially found the whole thing far from shipshape. Here, having launched in its spiritual home of Newcastle, it arrives in very landlocked Northampton on a UK tour in a very different form. Characters have been dropped, songs have been reordered, storylines reworked, and original cast members are gone. So, whether the US audience would have been appreciative of this new The Last Ship is unknown, however, there is an incredible amount to like from this show and on Northampton opening night reactions, the audience here is liking what they see.

Gideon has returned, having taken to the seas 17 years before, leaving his girlfriend Meg behind and a strong and stable shipyard in operation. On his return, things are very different, not least for Meg, who is initially not keen on his return, f…

Review of The Flying Lovers Of Vitebsk at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Kneehigh, the Cornwall based theatre company, has created an immense recognition over the 30 years or so they have been formed, and Emma Rice, who directs here, has come out as one of the more recognisable people from the group. Here, with The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, they, and Rice are in incredible form.

Writer Daniel Jamieson tells us the tale of artist Marc Chagall and his wife Bella as their love blossoms during some of the most turbulent times in history.

This tale, by Jamieson, first saw a life on stage over 25 years ago, back then titled Birthday (the name of a painting by Chagall, which depicts he and his wife doing their "flying"). In the original production, Jamieson played Marc, and Rice played Bella. Now many years later, Rice has taken the original and created a brand new vivid version.

It's easy to fall in love with The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk very early on, as two things occur. The first is as you are seated in the theatre, you become captivated by the…

Review of Cinderella, performed by University Of Northampton BA Actors at Maidwell Hall (Avenue Campus), Northampton

So, this is a bit different, the third year actors (my fifth group of them!) do panto, Cinderella to be precise. Pantomime is my perennial favourite bit of theatre. Oh no, it isn't! However, I have long acknowledged that for an actor, the form is both incredibly important, because if you can entertain kids, you can probably do anything, it also provides a large opening for a regular gig each year as they are so abundant. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the intelligent bods teaching these students have come to the decision to create a little panto action of their own.

This first of three (and the other two are very different beasts, as you will learn from the next reviews) is the ever so traditional one. Formed partly from the work of Looking Glass Theatre and director James Smith, I first saw much of this piece in January 2015, and although I didn't remember a great deal of it after this time, the cheese song managed to flash back to me, perhaps, sadly. So, how do the…