Reviewer Johnny Tait
We will welcomed in by Sarah Yeo, an acoustic guitarist who set the mood for the evening.
Opening the session was three-piece band Missing Cat. Call me old school if you like, but I believe appearance is important and, in my view, the lads were too casually dressed. Musically they were very competent but the appearance and choice of material has pub band written all over it.
Ecstatic 90’opened with No Limit, a number that, in my view, was not suited to the vocalists range. With a guy on keyboard a female on vocals and two female dancers, the clever use of lighting and lasers made the act very good visually, but overall it needs work.
Matrix Illusion did a marvellous job of cramming five impressive illusions into their allotted spot time. This is surely n act suitable for an international audience.
Jodie Payne took to the stage looking like Sarah Corr from the Corrs, I loved her Irish accent. This is a well presented young lady with a personality any audience will always warm to.
Magic and illusion with an Oriental twist was presented by Tensai. For the first few minutes everything they touched turned into an umbrella. Followed by a mind-boggling illusion, in which the lady in the act was bound tightly, but despite that she finished up wearing an audience members jacket, whilst still bound.
Larger than life vocalist and saxophonist Simon Mansfield opened with Relight My Fire, before giving us an excellent rendition of, She’s Like the Wind. from Dirty Dancing. With a lovely line in patter. Mr Mansfield, finished with a first-class instrumental version of Baker Street.
Believe a Bubble is all about blowing bubbles of all sizes. I can only see this act working at children’s parties, or maybe a spot in pantomime.
Impressionist Paul Burling is already well established on the variety circuit. On this night, with a whirlwind of comedy impressions, he demonstrated why he is a much sought after act.
Tinier Timpah must be the best Rap act that I have ever seen. His spot flowed as smooth as silk. However, an act of this kind will have, in my view, a limited appeal.
First alternative comedy came along, now Ben Cornish seems to have invented his own brand of alternative juggling. With an amusing line of patter, Ben presented juggling in a real, original and entertaining way.
Old school west country comedian Stewart Masters took just a couple of minutes to win the audience over and get sizeable laughs, with spot on timing and razor-sharp delivery, Stewart proved that traditional stand-up comedians are still favoured by the majority of audiences and are still very much in demand.
The showcase was brought to a close by well turned-out young vocalist Sammy Shepherd. His is a very competent, confident young man who should find no difficulty in making a successful showbiz career.