Review: Dame Hecate Bamway's Valentine Revue @ Bridewell Theatre

By paulcox Last edited 184 months ago

Last Updated 15 February 2009

Review: Dame Hecate Bamway's Valentine Revue @ Bridewell Theatre

MC Admiral Crawley raps on the dangers and pleasures of manatees.

However you spent your Valentine's Day, we do hope you enjoyed it. If you happened to spend part of it in the theatre under St. Bride's, you shared the company of seamen and shadow parliamentarians, Elgar and Indie, repressed Victorians and MySpace technosexuals.

Like its name, Dame Hecate Bamway's Irresistibly Ravishing Be-My-Valentine Revue Spectacular packed a lot in, even for a variety show. Among the songs, sketches and stand-up there were frequent Valentine's themes of love, hate, and cheap innuendo, but these were just as easily discarded in favour of leprechauns and Gordon Brown.

It was a few standout performers who made the night worth our while: Fred Crawley, Admiral, marine biologist and hip-hop artist; rousing balladeer Tom McDonnell; sketch duo Leggy and the Gnu; and the many personalities of Dame Bamway herself. Others, though we shan't name names, reduced the audience to a more polite level of laughter, and a few acts could really do with some abridgement.

The evening, cast from the mould of an earlier Credit Crunch-Busting Revue featuring many of the same acts, looks likely to become the start of a regular series and is worth looking out for as it smooths its DIY wrinkles. At present it's something of an amateur talent show punctuated by moments of real crowd-pleasing comedy, tracing the thread of heredity between the music hall variety show and its bastard great-grandchild YouTube.