Star quality as Strictly Showtime! hits the Eastbourne stage

Strictly Showtime! at the Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne - review by Tony Flood

Strictly Showtime! at the Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne
Strictly Showtime! at the Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne

Every Wednesday evening from May 4th to October 19th.

The aptly named Star Bray reveals her star quality with a show-stopping performance in The Royal Hippodrome's Strictly Showtime!

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Her superb rendition of Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from The Phantom of the Opera earned her sustained applause at Wednesday's opening night and even topped her electrifying tribute to Tina Turner with River Deep Mountain High.

These are among many outstanding performances in a dazzling summer variety production, led by the charismatic Grant Martins, who adds comedy to his song and dance routines.

Strictly Showtime! Is very much a family show, produced by husband and wife team Alex and Debbie Adams, with Alex also directing and having a starring role, while Debbie provides excellent choreography.

Another husband and wife, Barney and Paula Pout, best known as singing duo Duality, wow the audience with their exhilarating tributes to Dusty Springfield, Whitney Houston, Neil Diamond and Matt Monro and duet Secret Love from Calamity Jane.

Laura May Sivers, Thomas Hackett and Nick Hollands also excel. Laura gives a stunning solo, teams up well with Alex Adams in I Won't Dance, and joins forces with Paula, Star and Eliza Hackett to pay a glowing tribute to The Nolans with I'm In The Mood For Dancing.

Alex and Grant show great chemistry in comedy routine Two of a Kind, as do Thomas and Star with The Song That Goes Like This.

Grant then produces another magical moment with an exhilarating version of Barry Manilow's Even Now.

The versatile Eliza Hackett, Sarah Barden, Nikki Brook, Darcie Bennett, and Emma Walker give marvellous support with their invigorating dancing and singing.

The full company perform some sparkling numbers, starting and ending the show in style with Night on the Town from Copacabana and Oh What A Night!, in tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons/Jersey Boys.

Strictly Showtime! is every Wednesday at 8.15pm (no matinees) from May 4th to October 19th.

* Debbie and Alex Adams are the proprietors and principals of the Trapdoor Theatre School in Eastbourne, providing musical theatre training for children aged three to 18.

Review by Tony Flood