Eyes down, look in – Blackpool has got a brand new cabaret venue. Housed in the former Mecca bingo on Church Street just off the Promenade, the spacious and comfortable, 600 capacity Viva opened its doors last weekend with the start of a year-round three hour cabaret production hosted by popular all rounder Leye D Johns.
Modelled on his previously successful seasons at the Alabama Showboat and his Christmas show at the late lamented Layton Institute, the three nights a week show combines comedy, music and dance with a party atmosphere.
The opening production is a sort of “greatest hits” of earlier production numbers with the added attraction of it all taking place on one of the largest stages in town and a team of four extremely hard working, very glamorous and frequently quite raunchy Viva dancers (check out their version of the Jennifer Lopez smash Let’s Get Loud or the Burlesque medley if proof is needed).
Despite opening weekend problems with his throat, Leye is clearly in his element – whether ripping into unsuspecting audience members with his familiarly camp comedy, lambasting the current craze for 50 Shades of Grey or whooping it up in the quickfire succession of song and dance routines (including his now famous roller skating Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and an energetic Oklahoma medley).
He is joined by versatile vocalist Phil Jeffries whose mixture of Michael Buble, ballads, big band swing and rockier numbers always proves a winner.
Guest female vocalists complete the bill and for opening weekend that was Emma Jordan featuring in solo spots and production numbers plus newer comer Kristina Castellina impressing with some very powerful solo spotlights.
With the Olympics now out of the way hopefully people will be up for a good value night out – or even checking things out for the venue’s Christmas nights out.
Bookings can be made on (01253) 297297.