The Babbacombe Theatre celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, and Starburst – the first of its variety spectaculars of 2019 – was a fitting way to start.

Many great names have graced the theatre’s stage since it opened just a month or two before the start of World War Two.

Stars like Bruce Forsyth, David Nixon, Ted Rogers, Ray Allen, Norman Vaughan and Roy Hudd.

And funny man Steve Laister is right up there with them, unleashing quite a few laughter grenades of his own.

Straight out of the blocks with an explosive opener from The Greatest Showman, Steve and a great cast launched a Babbacombe Blitz on the shell-shocked audience.

The strength of the show lies in the excellent voices of the four lead vocals, Lindsey Collard, Sami-Jane, Dean Winters and Darren Lake. and the faultless performance of the energetic Danze Chique dance troupe.

Among my favourite numbers involving all of them were takes on ‘Phantom’, Marilyn Monroe, Cilla Black, Stan and Ollie, the Bay City Rollers and Victoria Wood.

But it is Steve Laister who stitches it all together with a series of incredibly funny sketches featuring characters such as The Incredible Fakir, Sheriff Geoff - who’s deaf), and a comedy Confucius.

He has such brilliant timing and rapport with the audience that everyone left with huge smiles on their faces.  Look out for his spoofs on Lidl and Aldi, and on clairvoyance.  Hilarious.

A special mention, too, for the little angels of Kids & Co who brought charm and energy to the first half before an early night and school the next day.

Producer Director Colin Matthew has yet another hit on his hands.  He assures me he wasn’t there when the bombs started dropping in 1939, but he has been responsible for lighting up Babbacombe since 1986.

Carry On Colin!


When I saw the cast for Starburst advertised my first thought was what a brilliant line up of returning members of previous shows, But Steve’s back!  Don’t get me wrong I like the compares from previous Summer and Christmas shows but Steve Lassiter just hits my funny bone repeatedly.  

Sami-Jane has matured over the last couple of years and her voice has grown.

With the opening song from The Greatest Show man, the show starts as it means to continue fast paced with dazzling costumes and high kicks from Danze Chique.  This lovely group of girls dance twirl and sashay through the musical numbers from start to finish not missing a beat.

The show also pays tribute to a previous performer at Babbacombe Sir Bruce Forsyth, with a lovely segway into a tribute to Victoria Wood , Ken Dodd and two other much loved and missed comedy duos, If you want to know who they are you will have to go see the show.  You need some surprises.

If you want variety and lets face it variety is the spice of life, go and see Starburst!

We are grateful to everyone that takes the time to add their reviews on our social media pages, or takes the time to send personal  messages, we wish we could share them all, as we really are very grateful. Clearly it would be impractical for us to do that, however, this one message sent by a young carer, was so moving, we felt it should be here for all to see 

"To all involved in Starburst! 

Wow! What an amazing production of Starburst! I was with the Jumbulance group as a helper. So it was so lovely to see my older friends with great big beams on their faces! I didn’t happen to know all the songs as being 20 has its limits! But I enjoyed it so much and soon got the words! You truly made their night! As a second-year drama, theatre and performance student in London, I have to quietly say to not get in trouble by my lecturers, that Starburst gave me the most laughs and enjoyment from all the shows I have seen in my second year so well done all!! Had a slight tear in my eye as from an actor being sat in the audience all you want to do is jump up and get on the stage! Thoroughly enjoyed it and I wish you guys all the best for the for-coming shows!" 

Nathan L (June 2019)

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