Pageant, 4 Stars

Pageant
London Irish Centre, Camden
10th to 25th August 2017
Lighthouse Poole
1st to 2nd Sept 2017

Pageant is a fabulous musical comedy about the world of beauty pageants – where six hopeful contestants battle to win the coveted title of ‘Miss Glamouresse’. But this is no ordinary pageant: all of the ‘girls’ are played by men. With catchy songs, outrageous costumes and hilarious dialogue, the contestants compete in rounds including talent, spokesperson, ball gowns and swimsuits. Finally, their fate rests with a panel of judges selected from the audience. Who will it be?”

Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars

This is a scaled down pop-up production of Pageant at the Irish Centre. This Camden Fringe Festival production presents a very intimate small Fringe show where you are literally only a few feet away from the amazing cast and all the action.

With percussion and keyboard, and a cast of 7, you’ll love the energy and talent as they sing, dance, trip and stumble in good comedy fashion through a multitude of sketches based around their Beauty Contest. You’ve got the evening gown round, the talent, the brains, and their “caring phone support service” – all incredibly funny! Laughing from start to finish this is a really entertaining show!

The makeup, hair and costumes all incredible! But as a pop-up the Lighting might verge just a little too far into the minimal with only a couple of Front Wash LED Panels to actually illuminate the Cast. The Set is simply a few shimmer cloth drapes and steeldeck stage. However, this doesn’t detract from the frivolous frothy fun.

Always nice to see the unexpected with a Tap number from Miss Texas (Jonni Gatenby, who also doubles as Dance Captain), a roller skating routine from Miss Industrial Northeast (Nic Chiappetta) and a double hand glove puppet routine from Miss Deep South (Adam O’Shea).

The star of the show, with a brilliantly sculpted interpretation, is Miles Western. Miles’ charismatic performance nails Frankie Cavilier as the swanky MC of proceedings!!! He oozes the swagger to its fullest extent. An awesome character portrayal that adds quality to the proceedings – all very tongue in cheek and so so funny!!!

Miles Western as Frankie Cavilier

Sam Spencer-Lane’s choreography meshes throughout the show with the Cast dancing in well rehearsed tight unison. The Cast are slick – even in stillies!

The story book may be a little thin (well it did debut off-Broadway in 1991) but the character protrayals are full fat and flavoured! Director Bill Russell has not missed a trick in making this simple show a huge delight!

There are only 9 performances in London until Aug 25th then the show transfers to the Lighthouse Poole so catch this as soon as you can!!!

Photo Credits Tim Austin

Book & Lyrics
Bill Russell and Frank Kelly

Music
Albert Evans

Original Concept
Robert Longbottom

Director
Bill Russell

Cast Includes
Miles Western, Adam O’Shea, Nik Chiapetta, Alex Anstey, John McManus, Jonni Gatenby, Kevin Grogan

Nicholas Chiappetta
Kevin Grogan
Jonni Gatenby
John McManus
Alex Anstey
Adam O’Shea
Miles Western


Producer
Tim Austin for The Flash Point Group

Performance Dates
London: August 10th 2017 – August 25th 2017, 9pm (10th – 12th, 17th – 19th, 23rd – 25th)
Poole: September 1st 2017 – September 2nd 2017, 7.45pm

Running Time 95 mins (not incl. interval)

Venues
London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, London, NW1 9XB
Poole Lighthouse, 21 Kingland Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 1UG

Ticket Price
London: £15 / £14 (concessions)
Poole: £19.75 / £17.75-16.00 (concessions)

Box Office
London Irish Centre (cam.tickets.red61.com/performances.php?eventId=3113:1906)
Poole Lighthouse (lighthousepoole.co.uk/whats-on/2017/pageant/)

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