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Thursday 14 July 2022.

Wednesday 13 July 2022...I went to two theatre events today. MATINEE From 04 July 2022 - Broadway star FELICITY BOSWELL replaces BEVERLEY KNIGHT in The Drifters Girl at The Garrick Theatre, London. with the sensational Adam J Bernard (Dreamgirls), Tarinn Callender (Hamilton), Matt Henry (Kinky Boots) and Tosh Wanogho-Maud (Showboat). Discover the remarkable story of The Drifters, one of the world’s greatest vocal groups, and the truth about the woman who made them. Felicity Boswell stars as Faye Treadwell, the legendary manager of The Drifters, who, alongside her husband, fought for three decades to turn Atlantic Records’ hottest vocal group into a global phenomenon. From the highs of hit records and sell out tours to the lows of legal battles and personal tragedy, The Drifters Girl charts the trailblazing efforts of the world’s first African American, female music manager and how she refused to ever give up on the group she loved. Thirty years, and loads of hit songs later, there is no doubt that Faye Treadwell was and always will be, The Drifters Girl. With an unbelievable soundtrack of some of the most iconic songs in history, including Save The Last Dance For Me, Under The Boardwalk, Kissin’ In The Back Row Of The Movies, Stand By Me, Come On Over To My Place and Saturday Night At The Movies. Beverley Knight is in it until end of July, then she joins the cast of Sister Act at Hammersmith Apollo. -------- No surprise it is an older crowd here , who remember the act from the 1960s and 1970s. I saw Ben E King in 1977, after he had departed the act for a solo career, and later in 2001. I saw The Drifters in 1993 but not sure who was in the line-up back then. It was pretty much a two hour show over two sets of 65 mins and 55 mins. The Drifters were pretty much a four man vocal harmony group. Lots of great stage costumes from that era and great dance routines. Plenty of great hit songs...some performed twice...with some comedy thrown in through the show. Felicity Boswell was excellent in the lead role, of being a black female music executive back then. The Drifters were famous for breakaway band members forming their own versions of the act. Everyone suing each other etc and run-ins with Atlantic Records. Coming to the UK and they hits written over here by Roger Cook & Roger Greenaway. A very enjoyable show. then EVENING CIRQUE DU SOLEIL present CORTEO at The 02 Arena...opening night... Corteo, which means cortege in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth. The clown pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere, watched over by quietly caring angels. Juxtaposing the large with the small, the ridiculous with the tragic and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection, the show highlights the strength and fragility of the clown, as well as his wisdom and kindness, to illustrate the portion of humanity that is within each of us. The music turns lyrical and playful carrying Corteo through a timeless celebration in which illusion teases reality. The concept and disposition of the stage bring the audience in a theatrical atmosphere like never seen before in Cirque du Soleil arena shows. The set curtains, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, and the central curtains, which were hand painted, give a grandiose feel to the stage. This sets the tone for the poetry of Corteo. The cast of Corteo includes 51 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors from all around the world. www.cirquedusoleil.com - Visit their website here, for more info and to buy tickets. In London from 13 – 17 July 2022 before continuing across the country with shows in Manchester from 5 – 9 October 2022, Glasgow from 12 – 16 October 2022 and Birmingham from 19 – 23 October 2022. -------- Celebrity guests who graced the red carpet and enjoyed the performance from the cast of Corteo included Martin Lewis, AJ Pritchard, Arlene Phillips, Grace Chatto (Clean Bandit), Julia Bradbury, Lydia Bright and no doubt more. The huge venue is transformed into an intimate theatre experience. The stage is in the middle of the floor. Level 4 is closed off and everyone has a great view from the stalls floor and level one. There is no need for any big screens. The show is pretty much on for two hours over two sets. It is a typically CDC production featuring stunning costumes and a visual colour explosion. The live band play joyous rhythms. Sixteen acts dazzle you with their incredible skills in a very enjoyable show.... Four women perform aerial acrobatics on three chandeliers. Six artists perform on Trampo Beds. Five artists perform with Cyr Wheels. An artist performs contortion like shapes on a suspended pole. The giant clown performs a light-hearted golf routine. Artists Marionette , like a live puppet. A gypsy performer dazzles with a multitude of hoops. A child-like helium balloon dance over the crowd was an excellent highlight. Teeterboard acrobats High flying between two stations, which brought gasps from the crowd. Crystal glasses and whistler showcase, perform a haunting melody. Three jugglers perform with rings, hoops and clubs. A ladder acrobatic specialist. Romeo & Juliet opera roulette, perform the unexpected. Duo-straps display Horizontal bars display, that kept you on the edge of your seat.