Produced By Tony Peers for Tony Peers Productions
Directed by Linda Newport
Cast Billy Pearce, Linda Newport Ellie Carroll, Matt Dallen & Stewart Metcalfe
Running time 2hrs and 15 minutes
Reviewer Mark Ritchie
Another opening night show of another Tony Peers Productions offering at The Spa, complete with the enduringly popular comedian, singer, dancer and musician Billy Pearce.
While the versatile Pearce’s star was in its ascendancy in the late 80’s and early 90’s, he was tipped for television comedy stardom. However, and I would imagine much to the chagrin of many so-called mainstream performers, The Pearce ascend up the show business ladder clashed with the age when the alternative comedians and their university graduate humour began to control the comedy output on the small screen.
However Billy Pearce has continued to make his mark as a leading performer in pantomime and cabaret. Despite the lack of media impact, Scarborough is expecting a bumper season as the box office appeal of Billy Pearce in the North of England is unquestionable.
The Edwardian/ Victoria style music hall surroundings at The Spa lends itself splendidly to a variety show. Admittedly it would have been nice to see a live band, as opposed to a backing track-fest, but the production side showcases some of Pearce’s many talents.
Ex Stutz Bear Cats star Linda Newport lends a directorial hand, as well as her well-honed and celebrated song and dance skills. The glamorous Ms Newport even takes a stab at a comedy tribute to Tina Turner.
A succession of pantomime style sight gags and some traditional front of cloth style stand-up comedy links the fun and the ravishing and tuneful singer Ellie Carroll really catches the eye. The ever engaging Billy Pearce is not off the stage for very long, at any stage of this fun-filled production. However he comedy and presentational glue that holds the structure of the show together comes from every single member of the cast, as they combine hard-work and silky show-business skills which reciprocally springboard all the performers.
Song and dance men Matt Dallen and Stewart Metcalfe complete the on-stage personnel and, as those used to seeing Tony Peers shows will have become accustomed to, the lavish costuming all adding to the more than favourable picture.
The ‘Dancing Fool’ segment of the show provides Pearce with an opportunity to show his skill at tap dancing. Dancing is in his blood from his mother’s side of the Pearce family.
This is not a large, sprawling end of the pier style summer show by any stretch of the imagination. However, the hard-working and well drilled cast are sure to find favour with east coast visitors to this ever beguiling and charming resort.
The Spa theatre is part of a whole complex of entertainment venues and its dramatic beach-side location makes the view from the theatre one of the most dramatic and memorable to be found anywhere in the world.
2015 is sure to be a bumper box office year at The Spa. The laughs will certainly come thick and fast in the company of an entertainer who would surely have been a much bigger star back in the days before light entertainment was replaced by the reality TV brigade and the utterly disposable talent show stars.