By Steve Heath
Brian Conley paid a visit to Crewe’s Lyceum Theatre last night (Sunday 13th October) bringing with him his ‘An Evening with Brian Conley’ show…..and what a show it was!
Right from the start the packed Lyceum audience were howling and crying with laughter.
The show started with a very Shirley-Bassey-Bond-esque theme and title sequence on the big screen at the back of the stage depicting the life of ‘Brian’.
Mr Conley himself then bounced on stage in a rapturous opener to the evenings’ entertainment, which included a good deal of audience participation as some ‘guest’ acts were plucked from the auditorium to star in the show.
Sitting in the front rows is not to be recommended for the shy and retiring!
We didn’t have to wait long for one of the most famous catchphrases from his ‘the Brian Conley Show’ years, It’s a puppet” lit up the audience with a massive cheer.
Nick Frisbee would have been so proud!
Speaking of puppets, Brian had a surprise special guest with him, none other than Paul Zerdin, who brought along his famous character – Sam, and his Grandad, Albert.
Paul is arguably the best ventriloquist ever to set foot on a professional stage, and Sam is one of the most loveable, cheekiest, brilliant characters ever to sit on an arm!
Like Brian, Paul has performed at Royal Variety shows in recent years, so to have both perform at the Lyceum Theatre on the same night must be somewhat of a feather in the cap of new operator, HQ Theatres, and the way they have transformed the Lyceum into a venue that top acts want to play in.
The second part of the show treated the audience to some more of Brian’s madcap comedy, a few magic tricks, and a brilliant reprise of some of his stage musical triumphs.
His rendition of Al Jolson’s ‘My Mammy’ was spellbinding, leaving a lump in the throat, and a tear in the eye of many of the people there.
This performance was Brian Conley at his best – the limitless energy, the raucous comedy, the amazing voice….everything.
The man is still a massively talented, all-round, brilliant variety entertainer who, along with the equally entertaining Paul Zerdin, gave the people of Crewe a night that they will remember for many years to come.
By sheer coincidence, Brian also performed snippets of songs from one of his other West End Shows ‘Me and My Girl’, in which he played the part of Bill Snibson.
Acton Amateur Operatic Society will be performing that show at the Lyceum Theatre next week, 22nd to 26th October, and I will be reviewing for The Crewe News soon.
Future show information can be found at the Lyceum Theatre Website – www.crewelyceum.co.uk
Brian Conley’s official Website – www.brianconley.com
Paul Zerdin’s official website – www.paulzerdin.com
Review by Steph Heath.
Pictures courtesy of the Lyceum Theatre, www.brianconley.com & www.paulzerdin.com