The Magic Of Christmas



From the moment, you set foot into the Babbacombe Theatre you know you are in for a festive treat- with Christmas decorations and the bubbly front of house staff adorning Christmas dresses and jumpers, the mood is immediately set for the new show now up and running at this popular venue, The Magic of Christmas.
One does wonder if getting into the Christmas Spirit at the end of October, may be a bit of a challenge but I can honestly say, after 2 hours I was oozing with Christmas spirit- bring on December 25th!

The show’s host and compere Andy Oakley is a regular at the theatre and although I have seen him perform on numerous occasions, he never fails to entertain. Whether he is performing his hilarious storytelling, participating in comedy skits with other cast members or joining in with the musical production numbers his enthusiasm to entertain seems to know no bounds!

The curtain goes up and comes down with Christmas favourites, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree and Santa’s Coming to Town but in between the selection of musical numbers seem to cover many genres and decades. Whether you are enjoying Cliff Richard’s most favoured Christmas Number 1’s, Adele’s Set Fire to the Rain, Alice Cooper’s Schools Out for Summer, Simply Reds, Fairground or Day by Day from Godspell, the musical numbers are backed for the most part by wonderfully choreographed routines presented effortlessly and very glamorously by Danze Fantastique. One of the strongest dance routines of the night, Pirates of the Caribbean made me breathless just watching it!

Lily Laight, now 14 years of age has been a firm favourite with Christmas audiences now for some years at Babbacombe and this year is no exception! It was particularly nice to see Lily singing with 16-year-old Josh Cousins, who for his first time on stage showed great confidence as well as sincerity in his performances. Their very touching duet, not only shows off their fabulous voices, harmonising perfectly but was one of the memorable highlights of the evening.

Paul Cobley and Lisa Walker, also veterans on the Babbacombe boards, like Andy, get to show their versatility. Both deliver big solo performances with Someone to Love Me (Russell Watson) and I Have Nothing (Whitney Houston) respectively and then they both get to show their flair for comedy with the 12 Days of Disney… a different take on the 12 days of Christmas that introduces Pantomime into the mix of this pacey show.

No Christmas show would be complete without a touch of Magic and the obligatory ‘arghhh factor’. Peter Baffles, does just that… BAFFLE! He had some of the biggest laughs of the night when he introduced members of the unsuspecting audience into his illusions. Then there were The Sproggles, 4 little girls who made a big impact with their vocal prowess and performances during the first half of the show. Mr producer, Colin Matthews that was a nice touch and made this serving of festive fun even more appealing to a family audience.

The Magic of Christmas has weekly matinee and evening performance up to January 1st 2017 so if you are looking to add some sparkle to your Christmas and New Year celebrations then this is the one show that is guaranteed to do just that! 

THE BREEZE - Matt Rogan, Breakfast presenter 
Such a funny, brilliantly entertaining and touching show all in one. Really one of the best shows I've seen. ALL the performers were brilliant. So great for Torquay to have such talent. Definitely recommend to see.

HERALD EXPRESS by Rom Preston-Ellis ****
It may be over six weeks until Christmas but if you're after a big dollop of festive cheer then look no further than Babbacombe Theatre's new festive variety show.

The Magic of Christmas welcomes some new performers to the stage while there are also enough familiar faces to bring the usual quality and smiles.

The popular theatre was at near capacity on opening night and the show got off to rocking start featuring song and dance from almost the whole cast.

Host Andy Oakley has been cracking jokes at Babbacombe Theatre for years but manages to come up with different acts and new lines every time.

His humour knits the whole show together and he opened up with a 'winter warmer' that certainly broke the ice.

Some Cliff Richard Christmas classics were delivered by the powerful voice of Paul Cobley followed up by a solo performance from the talented Lily Laight.

Lily has been treading the boards at Babbacombe Theatre since she was eight, along with starring in West End shows and Hollywood films.

Now 14, she took a leading role in the show with a number of excellent performances.

Hearts were melted with the introduction of some talented young performers — The Sproggles.

Aged between five and 11, The Sproggles delighted the audience with their confident and composed singing.

They are potential stars of the future who will be looking to follow in Lily's footsteps.

Lily and new boy Josh Cousins performed a romantic festive duet with Josh showing no signs of nerves on his first night at Babbacombe Theatre.

He also took the lead in a rendition of Simply Red classic Fairground with Lisa Walker and Lily.

Funny magician Peter Baffles provided a mix of tricks and jokes throughout the night.

Often assisted on stage by Andy Oakley, the duo provided an entertaining double act that brought doves from no where and magical card tricks.

One of the biggest roars of the night came when two willing audience members were ushered up on stage to get involved in the magic.

While the most poignant moment of the evening came with a tribute from Paul Cobley to those who have lost their lives in war.

Paul conveyed a huge amount of emotion to the audience, bringing a serious note to an otherwise uplifting evening.

Andy Oakley was soon on hand to lift the mood again and the night was rounded off with a grand performance from the whole cast.

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