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  • Review by john Murray

Allan Stewart's Big Big Variety Show

Pilot at the Kings

As the last days of February are upon us we still have memories of the long successful Panto at the King’s Edinburgh when along comes Allan Stewart in variety. The Big Big show has had a varied line up in this now traditional week at the Kings and this year has been the finest ever. With Andy Pickering and his Orchestra Allan Stewart could do a full show on his own with jokes, songs and impressions but here he limits himself to quality introducing his impressive line up.

His pantomime buddy Grant Stott previewed part of his touring show Tales From The Mic with stories of his career in the police and Radio Forth. After a full Fringe run last year his timing is perfect in the hilarious but true anecdotes. Edward Reid is best known for his run on Britain’s Got Talent and his comedy and vocal dexterity demonstrate his range while his diva comedy found even more new fans. Billed as the star of the show Elaine C Smith from stage and screen showed her affinity with the audience in her stand up routine closing the first half before the original Pilot with David Paton on vocals opened the second half with a set of ‘all killers, no fillers’ string of global hits culminating with Magic which had the audience on their feet. It was magic and after their successful recent tour of Japan it was amazing to see the reaction of their home crowd 42 years to the very week when January topped the UK charts. Sketches in character from Allan Stewart peppered the show in the true sense of variety before his finale with the big orchestra and just when you thought it could not get any better he pulled one out of the hat in a sensational move.

Before the final curtain the host brought on his special guest – Susan Boyle and for a moment I thought this was Elaine C Smith reprising her previous stage role but no. Looking better than ever it was our own superstar live on stage to give us an impeccable I Dreamed A Dream gaining a standing ovation like no other and closing this amazing line up.

King’s Theatre Edinburgh till March 4

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