What's On

Your guide to everything in North East

Review: All the Fun of the Fair, Sunderland Empire

DAVID Essex and Jon Conway take the audience on a rocking rollercoaster ride of revelry and romance in this new musical.

DAVID Essex and Jon Conway take the audience on a rocking rollercoaster ride of revelry and romance in this new musical.

A colourful fairground setting lights up Conway’s tale of love and loss all played out to a selection of Essex classic hits.

The singer depicts Levi Lee, a fair owner mourning the death of his wife, whose rebellious son Jack (Paul-Ryan Carberry) becomes entangled in an ultimately doomed romance.

Essex clearly relishes the role of the weathered older man, wise with experience but still able to rock a crowd out of their seats if he chooses – which he does several times in this production.

Fatalistic fortune-teller Rosa (Louise English) narrates the story, singing with a pure and powerful voice that soars easily above the rest.

Director Nikolai Foster tries to perform a tricky juggling act between the fun of the musical and sadness of the storyline.

But one is left unconvinced by the scenes of heartbreak and tragedy as the cast seem to be enjoying themselves far too much for any character to remain miserable for long.

The tale unravels to the background of the 70s travelling fair, with flares, dodgems, disco lighting and pyrotechnics setting the scene.

When presented with such a bonanza, entertainment is guaranteed.

Miranda Prynne

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer