Guest post by David Thomas
I will let you into a secret. Not a top secret. Some would say it’s not really a secret at all. When a bunch of people get together to put on a show they spend an awful lot of time working on the story, the music, the cast, the staging, production design, lighting, sound… A hundred and one collaborative skills that go into any recipe for showbiz success. But sometimes, and to be honest, sometimes too frequently, the one thing that gets overlooked is, well, how will the show entertain the audience? This vital missing ingredient we will call “The E Factor” and last night at I Can’t Sing! it wasn’t missing for a single minute.
From start to finish the show grabbed the audience by the scruff of the neck and said, “Let me entertain you!” No matter how tired, wired or frazzled you might be. No matter how early you need to start tomorrow, or how long the journey back tonight. And miracle of miracle, after a very few minutes the show works its magic: you forget how tired, wired or frazzled you were when you walked in, and the world that is waiting outside when the curtain comes down. Let it wait.
You are here for fun, and you get it in abundance. It is delivered to your seat by means of all the ingredients I mentioned above, a hilarious story, some great songs, eye-popping production design and technical skills on a par with anything you will see on either side of the Atlantic. All of them held magnificently together by that ever present desire to entertain you and me, the audience.
I spoke to a couple of the show’s stars after the show. Cynthia Erivo is absolutely spellbinding in the role of Chenice and Simon Bailey whose portrayal of Liam is worth the price of admission on its own. Mark their names, because you will seeing a lot of them in the years to come. And what was their own greatest moments from this magical First Night? For Cynthia it was “That moment when we are all on stage together, just before the end of the show. Everyone I’d worked with, rehearsed with, for all these weeks and months -and there we were. On the stage of The London Palladium. With the audience cheering and giving us a standing ovation” For Simon it was: “Pride. Pride in what we’d done. Pride in being part of a totally original piece of writing. Of getting the chance to be in the first new show to play The Palladium in 75 years. That is important to me. A new show, from one of our funniest comedians, Harry Hill -and for the record one of the nicest people I have ever met. Yeah, it was a great show tonight… But for me it was the proudest moment of my life.”
You don’t need to be an X Factor fan to have a great time at I Can’t Sing! – in fact you’ll have just as much fun if you love it or hate it. But most of all you have to have an appetite for The “E” Factor… Entertainment. The kind that lifts you up above the pressing, and occasionally oppressing, cares of the day, puts the spring back in your step, and washes your face with tears of unrestrained laughter.