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This is one of those when you come out of the theatre and walking towards the bus stop, wonder what the hell you have just seen. For one night only on Friday 28 June 2024, a stunning performance of an extended sketch format show with the Thick and Tight ensemble cast of talented and committed people.

Singly or in pairs, the cast works through a series of pieces in mime, voice-over and dance based around a variety of historic and not so historic figures. The workshops to determine how these would be handled must have been something to behold, or was a lot of this from personal inspiration?

The show starts with the stage in darkness, the lights then revealing a double-headed Barbara Cartland, its make up a perfect rendition of the real thing. The piece is based around the audio from an interview with Anthony Clare. There was some audience reaction as Cartland hacked into the women’s movement and blethered on about all the men who’d loved her. Her book sales indicate that someone must have been taking her seriously.

Next up was Winston Churchill and some of his speeches, combined with various anti-immigration diatribes from Enoch Powell, Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.

From there to the empowering quality of Grace Jones, the relationship between Margot Fonteyn and Frederick Ashton and Rasputin and his hilariously extended appendage.

The final duo made a bizarre pairing of avant garde composer, John Cage, and heroine of the West End, Elaine Page. There was plenty of Cage talking and plenty of Elaine singing and giggling because she could not bring herself to say ‘Moby Dick’.

The show was always compelling and often hilarious, and not just Rasputin’s appendage. The choreography was exciting and perfectly executed. The casting was inclusive and the performances without compromise.

If you ever get a chance to see this fine show, which was brought to Blackpool as part of the Queer Amusements Festival, it’s not to be missed.

This article follows on from the Q&A article that features on this site.

 

Photo credit: Performer Azara Meghie. Costume Claire Ashley. Makeup Darren Evans. Photo by Rosie Powell Freelance

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    I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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