Showzam!: Leaving Las Vegas (Again)

Abigail Collins’ alter ego, Peggy Sued, is a larger than life character, described as an ex-Vegas showgirl, ex-playboy bunny and non-reformed alcoholic.   Having seen her previously, I was pleased to note that the scene had been set, in the Winter Gardens Pavilion, with a collection of silver hula hoops against the curtains.  There were also a couple of side tables arrayed with an intriguing collection of items, including a Rubik’s Cube and ear protectors, but more about that later.

Abi, or should I say Peggy, who bounced onto the stage to the song Copa Cobana, was resplendent in silver, complete with showgirl feathers and gravity defying heels.  She created an immediate rapport with the audience when she performed a series of high kicks despite the heels.  Comedy was interspersed throughout the show, which included her friend Ben, the sock rat, references to Blackpool as the Paris of the North and tales of her misfortunes in love.

Peggy explained that the ten hula hoops represented each of her ten ex-husbands.  Her routine with the hoops was mesmerising, at one stage she was covered in them from head to toe.  Part of the routine included a hand stand with hoops on her feet.  She also twirled the hoops as she stood on one leg. As someone who can’t even twirl one hoop, standing on both feet, she certainly earned my admiration.

Peggy also interacted with the audience.  One guy, Shannon, was dragged onto the stage with an MGM Lion roar.  After a vain attempt at the hoops, he was given the task of throwing them to her as she sang I Will Survive for ‘anyone who ever had a broken heart’.  As the song ended, she asked if anyone had a good relationship – the audience went very quiet at this.  Then it was on to a game of Mr & Mrs.  The couple chosen for this were Eliot and Georgina, and what good sports they were.  As Eliot was put into the soundproof booth (sunglasses and earmuffs), Georgina was asked questions about him.  More humour followed as she explained that he preferred rugby to football but didn’t know which team he supported.

The bunny-girl costume came next.  Peggy produced a cocktail shaker and glass and, whilst performing gymnastic moves, proceeded to serve a cocktail on her head.  Impressive, as not a drop was spilt.

Peggy then went back to the love theme.  She asked for two guys who believed in love.  Initially she only got one volunteer.  She was very excited to discover that he was French and proceeded to converse with him in pigeon French.  Eventually, Eliot was persuaded back onto the stage.  After adorning them in Blues Brothers hats and sunglasses, a song and dance routine followed, which ended with her standing on the men’s shoulders doing the splits.

For the finale, she sang I Am What I Am whilst body surfing across the audience. Sadly, she crash landed – it was difficult to tell if this was accidental or deliberate, but it made the audience laugh.

With comedy, acrobatic talent and subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) innuendo for the adult audience, this was a truly fantastic, fun filled evening.

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