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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

All The Fun Of The Fair

Empire Theatre, Liverpool
April 13th – April 18

Producer: Alan Darlow Productions
Director: Nikolai Foster
Cast Includes: David Essex, Louise English, Paul-Ryan Carberry, Tanya Robb, Emma Thornett, David Burrows, Barry Bloxham.
Running Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

  'All The Fun Of The Fair' Promotional Poster

Another catalogue musical? Yes, in a way, this one featuring the songs of David Essex, but All The Fun Of The Fair is so much more than that. With a great set, superb acting, terrific music and, above all, an outstanding story, this is one show that can leave most others in its wake.

What really stands out is the fact that David Essex, playing fairground owner Levi, does not hog the limelight and allows the impressive youngsters around him to develop their own characters. As good as Essex is here, it is a more of a reassuring presence that he offers.

Paul-Ryan Carberry and Tanya Robb as the two youngsters who fall “Romeo & Juliette” are quite simply outstanding, delivering performances that could so easily have become tacky and clichéd to an extent that their roles become meaningless.


David Burrows as local London gangster, Harvey, and Barry Bloxham as his hired heavy, Druid, are also brilliant in the way they bounce off each other, and yet deliver a whole range of menace.

Emma Thornett as the spurned Mary, too, takes the role of Mary and delivers something that is at once filled with vulnerability and steely determination that is both heart-wrenching and stupefying.

Yet, outside of David Essex, it is Louise English as Rosa, the Gypsy fortune teller, who just about steals the show, with her understated delivery of disaster and unrequited yearnings for Levi. Oh, yes, as with all of the other cast members, she has a fine singing voice that sends shivers down the spine on occasion.

There isn’t a lot of “fun” to be had at this fair, but what has been produced is a tightly worked, well created and beautifully acted show that is bound to have audiences everywhere leaving more than satisfied having had a spellbinding night of original, musical theatre.

High Wycombe 20-25 April
Swansea 27-2 May
Northampton 4-9 May
Llandudno 11-16 May
Bristol 25-30 May

Click here to view details and book for the Liverpool Empire Theatre



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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