I RECEIVED hate mail from fans around the world the last time I dared to criticise pop legend David Essex for a performance but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with his portrayal of a loving father and carnival boss in his smash hit show All The Fun Of The Fair which returns to Milton Keynes Theatre next week.
You don’t have to be an Essex fan to enjoy this slice of pop whimsy but it helps especially as the playlist is busrting with songs from the great man’s back catalogue.
The singer, actor, composer and lyricist worked with Boogie Nights creator Jon Conway to weave such hits as Winter’s Tale, Hold Me Close, Gonna Make You A Star, Me And My Girl – Nightclubbing, Silver Dream Machine and Rock On with many new compositions written specially for the show.
Inspired by David’s album, All The Fun Of The Fair, the original storyline is a heart-warming tale about an East End fairground family with David playing fun fair owner Levi Lee, recently widowed and father of a rebellious teenage son, Jack.
Dodgems and motorbikes, crafty cons and candy floss, fairground horses and fights, along with romance and rock and roll mean you’re sure to go on a rollercoaster of a ride.
Many of the West End cast return to the show, including Louise English (Me and My Girl) as Rosa, Tim Newman (nominated Best Supporting Actor in a Musical 2010) as Jonny and Susan Hallam Wright as Mary. They, and exciting newcomer, Rob Compton as Jack, are directed by Nikolai Foster, acclaimed West End director of Flashdance and associate director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse with musical staging by BBC TV’s So You Think You Can Dance, Drew McOnie.
All The Fun of the Fair runs from Feb 7-11. For tickets call the box office 0844 8717652 or visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes
*ENTERTAINER Les Dennis joins Claire Sweeney and Ray Quinn in Legally Blonde The Musical at The Waterside, Aylesbury, this week. The blockbuster show runs until Saturday, February 4. For tickets call the box office 0844 8717607 or go online www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury
*COMEDIAN Jimmy Carr tries out his gags on an audience at The Grove when he appears with his Gagging Order show on Feb 9. For tickets call the box office 01582 602080 or online www.grovetheatre.co.uk