If I were a Culture Tsar, I’d lobby for it to be mandatory to take your children to see live shows.
Children have the innocent ability to give themselves over to the excitement of performance. Furthermore, kids’ shows have to be good or boredom would set in faster than Edinburgh’s August downpours.
Queueing up to see Basil Brush’s family show, the kiddywinks have such an air of despondency you’d imagine we were waiting to see a Benjamin Britten opera. It’s the grown ups here who are itching to see the Foxstar himself.
Sadly, Basil’s original foil, Mr Derek is no longer with us, so for this show he’s accompanied by ‘Mr Martin’, an affable chap who was once on Britain’s Got Talent. Mr M warms us up for the big Basil entrance and its heartening to see the world’s most famous fox hasn’t aged a day.
Thankfully his voice hasn’t changed a jot. He’s celebrating 52 years in show business and for context that’s longer than even Phillip Schofield. He doesn’t half know how to get the audience going. Who knew YMCA would sound even more funky chanted in Basil’s cut glass tones.
It’s all fun and games from there, a few more songs, a bit of magic and water pistols thrown in for good measure. Basil Brush’s charm stems from the fact that he’s an unpredictable old rogue: “OK boys and girls, put your hands in the air, bend your elbows and put your fingers in your ears. Ok grown ups, a Scotsman and an Irishman walk into a pub…”
Mr Martin interrupt the boss to remind him that’s for the strictly over 18s adult show, which my pal in the stalls tells me was an utter triumph.
Basil Brush’s delivery is flawless, whilst everything he says sound as though it’s 100% off the cuff, credit must also go to Mr Martin, a thoroughly likeable and funny performer with the grace to know very well who the star of the show is. We end with Basil doing his own Elton John tribute act. I’m Still Standing is the hit of the show and a deserving tribute to a seasoned performer whose lost none of his sparkle.
In a mere 55 minutes Basil Brush has gained a generation of new fans and reminded a lot of jaded grown ups that life can be fun. Boom Boom indeed!