You may have to be of a certain age to appreciate all that this show has to offer.
Oh no sorry, the host has to be of a certain age to allow him to claim 60 years in show business. But what a fresh-faced youth he is……69 years young Allan Stewart has vim and vigour to put most of his generation to shame.
Sharp-suited in his ‘Primark suit’, this is Stewart as a different persona from the panto dame from December and January. (or next year cast as Mother Superior in Sister Act).
Buoyed by many appearances in panto on this very stage, and supported manfully by his chums and panto partners, Grant Stott and Andy Gray, the King’s is very much home to Stewart. (You have to wonder why that name is not followed by OBE or MBE – after all he lives in London. Could he not just go and exercise some charm at Buckingham Palace.)
The music is provided by the Andy Pickering Orchestra – except when it’s Andy on the kazoo….. or Mari Wilson who no longer has the beehive but still really truly has the voice. Her performances of her 1980s hit Cry Me a River and Just What I Always Wanted were slick and polished. She awaits her cousins from Clackmannan on Friday though, so watch out if you’re going along then.
Comedian Mick Miller goes cruising with Allan – on the high seas on cruise ships. Well they used to, who knows what this year will bring. Miller is from Liverpool and tells a string of jokes, one liners, and stories which are genuinely funny and not at all rude. So why does this show have a warning about adult content?
Oh that is probably just in case…any of the other three have a wee slip up….otherwise this is a family you are watching on stage – a slightly disjointed one but a family all the same. It seems to us that Stewart really likes to have a laugh – and to do that he surrounds himself with people who make him (and us) laugh. And it works.
According to legend this show is written in a day, rehearsed on another day and will no doubt be refined, altered and changed just a wee bit here and there during the week. So accomplished are Grant, Andy and Allan as performers together that the show you see tomorrow may have similar lines but will be a slightly different rendition of the same. And Sven’s sweater may have stretched a bit…
But it will be funny, entertaining and a genuine bright light in these dark days. Oh, and if all else fails and the worse happens, then just buy the merchandise!
Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show is on until 14 March 2020.