Review: Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show

Allan Stewart as Theresa May  Pic: Phil Wilkinson
Allan Stewart as Theresa May Pic: Phil Wilkinson
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“WHEN you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you...” sings Allan Stewart at the start of his latest Big Big Variety Show. For the next two and a half hours a packed King’s does just that... when they’re not roaring with laughter or singing along.

The King’s, Leven Street

* * * * *

Boasting a tried and tested formula that Stewart understands better than most, this year’s music hall extravaganza is his strongest bill yet.

Backed by the eight-piece Andy Pickering Orchestra, a twinkling star cloth and six old-school Hollywood spotlights, Stewart is in glittering form from the off.

Comedy is what he does best and as familiar songs suddenly have less than familiar lyrics, a Rat Pack skit reminds why he is one of the best impressionists in the business.

Endearingly gentle, first guest of the night is Britain’s Got Talent favourite Edward Reid, whose astonishing vocal dexterity is never more evident than in the inventive nursery rhyme medley that made him famous.

A knowing sketch, which finds Stewart and Grant Stott still doing The King’s panto in the year 2037 (complete with obligatory tram and Hibs gags), is followed by the ever-green Elaine C Smith who engages audience members, male and female alike, with a blisteringly poignant ‘feminist’ set that is as funny as it is thought-provoking.

Her unique spin on Livin’ Doll stopped the show in its tracks.

Opening Act Two, The Macrobert Brothers (Stewart and Stott with Smith as cousin Boabina), deliver a sketch that is rude, crude and laugh out loud funny.

If that takes the show to a new level, the arrival of local 70’s chart toppers Pilot ensures it flies even higher.

Rolling back the years they flawlessly recreate their classic hits January and Magic.

A series of tales of life on the beat then show Stott to be a fine raconteur, but it is Stewart’s brutally witty impression of Theresa May singing Bohemian Rhapsody that steals the show. The likeness is scary.

“I am the entertainer, that’s all I’ve ever done,” he sings as the show reaches its finale, but just as it appears the night is over, there’s one more surprise, Susan Boyle, who gives a spine-tingling rendition of I Dreamed A Dream that brings the audience to their feet.

Variety, they say is the spice of life. If that is the case, Allan’s Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show is a spicy treat that will leave you with a warm feeling long after you have left the theatre.

Runs ends Saturday

Please note: Susan Boyle was a special guest and is not programmed to appear