“Prospero’s Daughter” went to see Anton du Beke and Giovanni Pernice’s “Him & Me” show at The Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, last night (Monday 5 July.)
Along with his spaghetti-legged buddy, Giovanni Pernice, he heads a troupe of accomplished dancers and singers in a choreographed romp through the years.
The audience is swept along from the Golden Age of Hollywood and the kind of nostalgic wartime hits like Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy which, frankly, is before the time of even the hairiest-chinned gran in the auditorium, through some anguished 80’s style rolling on the floor, right up to date with the, erm, 70s with Boogie Wonderland.
There are costume changes a-go-go and both hosts demonstrate pleasant enough singing voices, although a live orchestra would have been nice.
Catnip to nans, in the way that only faintly camp middle-aged men can be, Du Beke and Pernice ham it up throughout.
Audience participation, cross-dressing, a glimpse of Pernice’s famously mahogany chest and regional ribbing with Giovanni’s truly awful cod Scouse accent make it clear that this show is in large part panto.
But, whilst you can’t fault the band of excellent dancers, who do the lion’s share of the actual dancing, the hosts’ patter is not as polished as it could be. They falter and speak over each other and, light on any amusing anecdote, the gist of their schmooze is to tell us, repeatedly, how good the show is going to be.
Their enthusiasm is clear; but it’s just a bit Butlins. However, it’s also clear that that’s what a lot of people like and the, largely female, audience gave them a standing ovation.