SHOWZAM REVIEW: Getting better with age

Showzam - Ida Barr
Showzam - Ida Barr
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Ida Barr’s Variety Parade - Grand Theatre, Blackpool. Imagine Hinge without Bracket (or the other way round) finding a cache of prescription drugs next to their care worker’s CD collection and you are part way to where “the peoples’ pensioner” Ida Barr is coming from.

Imagine Hinge without Bracket (or the other way round) finding a cache of prescription drugs next to their care worker’s CD collection and you are part way to where “the peoples’ pensioner” Ida Barr is coming from.

Combining “artificial hip hop” with “slipped disco” the grooving granny combines her acid tongued views on the world and Blackpool (“who put that giant shoebox on Central Promenade?”) with the definitive difference between Poundland and Poundstretcher before “pumping up the wireless” for dance floor singalong versions of Music Hall favourites.

But Ida is just one of the versatile and oh-so talented Christopher Green’s creations. Another is the polar opposite, leggy and wafer slim country star Tina C.

Full of whoops hollers and homely advice such as “if you’re breathing you should be spending” as well as being able to pass off a meaty revival of Prince’s Purple Rain backed by the Bikini Beach Band Tina continues to go from strength to gender bending strength.

Last minute changes to Ida’s variety cast were barely noticeable.

The Two Wrongies may have been missing but Romany Diva of Magic was still on hand with a glamorous fusion of illusion and burlesque, Marawa The Amazing still managed to spin more hula hoops than most people could count and Up & Over It’s Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding’s “cocaine” fuelled Wayne and Waynetta interpretation of Irish dancing was a joy to behold.

Couple that with acrobatics and balancing, mime and slack-wire walking and here was a virtual definition of what the Showzam! festival is all about.