• John Murray

Big Big Success

So, what is the Big Big Variety Show? A pantomime for adults maybe with music and comedy or as Allan Stewart recently told me a ‘greatest hits’ show as this week will be his last in the old Kings Theatre Edinburgh before the closure to refurb the old Leven Street emporium. He also said no headliners this year but instead well-chosen professionals unlike previous years. Twenty years of Kings shows come to an end this week though as even the 2022 Panto will be moved to the Festival Theatre this year.

The guests this year were of the highest calibre and

almost in a co-host role his Panto buddy Grant Stott was welcomed warmly. Their banter together is like eavesdropping on some old pals and always funny especially the adlibs and added quips. As the McRoberts brothers Allan plays Wee Boaby and Grant is Big Boaby. Clearly missing the third brother with no Andy Gray it still works extremely well. The untimely loss of Andy is colossal, and a poignant tribute is observed with some unseen footage and photos as Allan & Grant reflect on their dear friend and co-star. Its one of Andy’s favourite artists songs that closes the show too as Allan takes centre stage for Bobby Darin’s Curtain Falls accompanied by the full orchestra who were immense throughout and included a four-piece brass section. Musical Director and leader is Andy Pickering and as Allan said, ‘the only piano player I know’.

Fans of Allan will not be disappointed right from the opening Lets Stick Together with new lyrics. We were treated to Aunty May in a dance routine as well as a taste of the many many impressions in his armory and delivered at breakneck speed. What a great lineup of guests too were on display tonight with 26-week pregnant Nicola Meehan and 24-year-old Max Fulham. Nicola was the fairy godmother back in December but as a vocalist quite superb opening with Man I Feel Like A Woman. Feelin’ Good oozed soul and Never Enough from The Greatest Showman was a fabulous ending to her short set. Max is a new young ventriloquist with firstly a monkey (doesn’t everybody) then Grandad. An immense talent and already he can hold an audience with some very original material. Big Men In Town are very polished performers. Outstanding vocals and slick choreography make them stand out in this tough category of tribute acts.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons were never better represented with December ’63 (Oh What A Night), Sherry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and Walk Like A Man. Allan and the full company returned with Rocking All Over The World to prove Big Big Variety is back for this week only.

Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show at Kings Theatre Edinburgh till April 2nd. Tickets HERE

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