STARDUST ***** By Paul Levie for the Herald Express
Anyone can throw a party - just ask the Chinese. A handful of balloons, a $100,000,000-dollar fighter jet and hey presto…fireworks!
But believe me, you get a lot more bang for your buck at the Babbacombe Theatre’s summer show Stardust, which opened on Valentine’s night. Perfect for lovers of great music and great fun.
It was high-octane, high-quality stuff, made lovingly but with military precision.
Top Gun Steve Laister revealed two very interesting facts at the start of the show.
First that Babbacombe owner-producer Colin Matthews has held the record for the longest-running summer shows for 37 years running. He brings Summer early and keeps it longer.
And second, the fabulous cast of singers, dancers and funsters had been rehearsing for 10 days to get the show pitch perfect for opening night.
There were a couple of Babbacombe newbies in this show, but boy did they hit the ground running.
Delightful Lorna Amy Sullivan produced some great solos, but also fitted in brilliantly with slick dance troupe Danze Chique, the precocious youngsters of Kidz and Co, and both the cast’s funny men.
She had a smile as wide as the River Avon (she’s from Wales, boyo), and switched expertly from rock classics and haunting ballads to comedy sketches with El Maestro Steve.
Also making his Babbacombe debut was Somerset-based Tom Brain, whose rich singing talent was honed, like so many others, as a Butlin’s Redcoat.
Belting out hits from the 50s, 60s and 70s as well as more contemporary stuff, Tom certainly knows how to keep the holidaymakers happy. Hi-de-Hi!!!
Just as pleasing on the ear – and the eye – is the gorgeous, elegant and supremely talented Holly Cosgrove. She’s starred in several of Babbacombe’s most successful shows and has come a million miles since she smashed Torbay’s Got Talent way back in 2009
Completing the line-up was comedy-magician Keith King who had the audience rocking with laughter and appreciation as he effortlessly worked through his routines.
But as Steve Laister so rightly said at the start of the show – perfection like that takes a lot of hard work in rehearsals to make it look that easy.
Which brings me on to the great man himself. Fast-becoming a Babbacombe regular, Steve is without doubt one of the best all-round entertainers in the country.
Those of you who have stared po-faced at the telly watching todays woke, self-obsessed drivel, will finally get to know what a belly-laugh really is.
He’s not blue; he’s not politically incorrect. But with his huge talent and likeability factor, he manages to skate expertly on a lake of thin ice that would have made Torvill and Dean proud!
I won’t give away any of his hilarious routines but just watch out for ‘Silence In Court’ which he performs to perfection with Keith and Lorna.
There is one other ‘star’ of the show to which I feel I must give full credit. And that was the astonishing costumes.
Sourced from the top entertainment costumiers around the country by theatre manager Sharon Waring, they are then hand-picked by producer-director Colin Matthews.
They have proved between them that to get the very best from highly talented and versatile singers and dancers, they don’t just have to perform at the top of their game. They have to look sensational as well.
A great show, full of summer sunshine.
Don’t leave it to Chinese whispers…..tell your friends before the balloon goes up!
A review by Katrine Harrington on behalf of the English Riviera Visitor Information Centre
***** Stardust! An essential part of any stay on the English Riviera
WOW, what a great show and this is their best summer show I've seen, lots of fresh material.
There really is something for every taste and it's refreshing to find an all round entertainer in Steve Laister, the amazing vocals from Holly, Lorna and Tom, the magical Keith King and of course the amazing Danze Chique. The 'ahhs' heard from the row behind appreciated Kidz and Co.
Well done to the talented cast. We have no hesitation in recommending this show which we are booking agents for.
A LOVELY LETTER we received the 'old fashioned' way, by post and handwritten from Julie Haskell- MADE OUR DAY!
Dear Marie, Colin, and everyone.
Well, what can I say? My hubby Kev and I came to see your first night of “Stardust” (14/02/23). We were blown away. As always, a very professional show (you would not think it was the first show). Just 11 performers plus the children gave a brilliant performance. It was fresh and funny, lovely songs. We loved it all.
Without a doubt we will come again throughout your very long “summer season”.
As you know we are huge fans of variety in theatre and we try to support as many small theatres as we can, but Babbacombe does hold a special place in our hearts.
The staff are always lovely, polite, and helpful. A special mention to Marie and congratulations on 25 years.
Also, many thanks to Colin Matthews for keeping the theatre alive. Definitely a labour of love.
I know we live in a very technical world now but as I am a very ‘old school’, pen and paper is always the way for me.
Wishing you all a very successful 2023.
Mrs Julie Haskell from Plymouth
The first review of the season on Tripadvisor for Stardust
***** Cynthia Jean
I couldn’t wait another minute to write about Stardust at this theatre. The first night of the season , and it was brilliant. Well done to all the cast, old and new faces alike. You all worked so hard to make this show a winner.Two hours of laughter, song , dance and magic. And it was ,,Magic.
Now , if I could just get the image of Mr Steve Laister in Lycra out of my mind !!!!
The first review of the season on Google for Stardust from J. Sullivan
***** Fantastic show - Stardust - recommended to everyone!
On FaceBook a review from A Battershill
Saw STARDUST last night 1st March it has to be the best ever. Fantastic cast, wonderful dancing, singing magic and superb comedy. Especially the four young girls who sang and danced superbly.
We stayed at Babbacombe hotel and the 53 holiday makers from midlands enjoyed every minute of the show and were amazed at the professionalism. So good they thought it must have taken months to rehearse.
The latest press review from The Torbay Weekly published on 9th March and written by Andy Sexton
Funny man Steve Laister had them rocking in the aisles... with laughter! But the packed house was rocking to the music, too, with two fabulous debutants, a star favourite and the usual cocktail of glitz and glamour provided by the dance troupe Danze Chique.
And helping Steve with the laughs was comedy magician Keith King, whose warmth and charm complemented his sleight of hand.
Babbacombe favourite Holly Cosgrove belted out a string of hits from both the charts and the shows. A former winner of Torbay’s Got Talent, she first graced the Babbacombe boards in the 2019 production of I Love Music.
Holly was joined by Welsh songbird Lorna Amy Sullivan, who also showed an eye for humour too in a couple of sketches with Steve and Keith. On this performance she could well become another Babbacombe Belle.
Also making his debut was Somerset-based crooner Tom Brain, with a great range in both senses of the word. His hits from the 1950s through to the modern day proved him a versatile addition to the strong cast.
Of course, Steve Laister was the star of the show. A man of many parts who can sing and dance with the best of them, he is a perfect compere. But his real strength is his wicked sense of humour and faultless comic timing.
If laughter is the best medicine, then Steve is a Doctor of the Droll, a Surgeon of the Snicker and a Master of Mirth.
There is something for everyone in this sumptuous show!
SEE THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE- on this link
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