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Thursday 12 January 2023

Wednesday 11 January 2023...2.30pm matinee show..... JACK AND THE BEANSTALK. The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk at Panto The London Palladium has been confirmed. London’s best-loved panto will feature the previously-announced comedy superstars Dawn French and Julian Clary, with Alexandra Burke making her Palladium pantomime debut, along with returning favourites Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot. Joining the star cast are West End favourites Rob Madge, Natalie McQueen and Louis Gaunt, fresh from his success in Mary Poppins, in the title role of Jack. This is the panto you’ve bean waiting for. Book today with tickets from £20. Last year i saw DONNY OSMOND in the main role in the Palladium Panto. It is on until Saturday 14 Jan 2023. ---------- This iconic venue is packed solid sold out on all levels. Older folks from the outskirts of London and further , love an afternoon matinee. There are many pantos on around London and the UK, but this is the biggest and best. The biggest production, the biggest celebrity names, the biggest and most OTT costumes. The show was on for around 2 hours 5 mins over two sets of 75 mins and 50 mins. Director Michael Harrison is the man behind another festive Palladium production packed with star names of a certain vintage and punchlines with a similarly antique tinge. Panto regular Julian Clary dominates every scene he pops up in, as various incarnations of the Spirit of the Beans. The veteran comedian boasts a withering, waspish put down for every occasion and showstopping dozen over the top different costumes designed by Hugh Durrant. Clary is a tough act to follow but “budget Miriam Margolyes” (joked Julian ) Dawn French makes a good fist of Devonian Dame Trot. A fright-wigged ALEXANDRA BURKE channels Tina Turner and the Wicked Witch of the West as villainous Mrs Blunderbore,and sings a couple of her number one hits in the UK , with "Bad Boys" from 2009 and "Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen cover) from 2008. Gary Wilmot as Queen Nigella makes merry with some marvellous tongue twisters, self-mocking posho Nigel Havers as King Nigel of Old Compton in the Turn references our new monarch with lines about his “blasted pen” and the totally excellent ventriloquist Paul Zerdin delivers as milkman Silly Simon. His routines included a neat stunt where he got four children up on stage, one at the end was a little know it all from South Kensington. At the end Paul Zerdin picked him up and dropped him into the orchestra pit, to gasps from the audience....but that was a actor who was actually part of the show. Plenty of cheesy and saucy banter throughout the show, especially from Julian Clary. The tradition of topical humour peppering proceedings is maintained with jokes about Liz Truss, Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock. A fantastic stunt happened at the end of the first half, as a huge inflatable beanstalk rose from the stalls to the venue ceiling , then Jack climbed it and during the second half, a jolly green giant inflatable appeared. It was an excellent show, with lots of laughter throughout. then LIGABUE live at Shepherds Bush Empire. 62 year old male singer-songwriter who is one of Italy's biggest rock stars. He has played the massive San Siro football stadium many times. I saw him headline The Royal Albert Hall in 2013. ----------- The Italian community in London are out in force as the show is fully sold out. TOM BRIGHT arrived on stage at 7.30pm for his decent enough 25 mins acoustic set. LIGABUE and his five piece band arrived on stage at 8.30pm and played for 1 hour 50 mins. Ligabue arrives on stage rockin' his David Ginola/Jon Bon Jovi silver fox good looks. He still attracts many female fans half his age, who are up and dancing & singing along from the start. It is a bit like French superstar Johnny Hallyday who plays stadiums back home, but smaller venues here. The crowd atmosphere is great. Only half a dozen words are in English as the chat is mainly in Italian and all the lyrics are in Italian. He has had over a dozen hit albums in the last 30 years or so. His band are really good with hints of Bon Jovi/Bryan Adams/ Bruce Springsteen as they are mainly uptempo catchy simple singalong rock tunes. You did not really need to know what he was singing about to make it a good rock show. I mean Rammstein singing all in German ,has not stopped them from headlining stadiums everywhere. ------------------------------ ------------------------------ Shock news that guitar legend JEFF BECK has died aged 78. I saw Jeff on stage around a dozen times since 1981. Oddly i saw him recently on stage in May 2022 when he played The Royal Albert Hall, when JOHNNY DEPP joined him for a few songs.