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BWW Review: LEGENDS OF LOCKDOWN LIVE!, Vaudeville Theatre

To the Vaudeville Theatre for a night of, well, vaudeville

BWW Review: LEGENDS OF LOCKDOWN LIVE!, Vaudeville Theatre

BWW Review: LEGENDS OF LOCKDOWN LIVE!, Vaudeville Theatre These days, vaudeville has migrated to television in the form of shows like Britain's Got Talent, but it's also found a home on TikTok and Instagram in the form of viral clips. So it was only right and proper that the content creators (I know, urgh) - okay, the Lockdown Legends (that's better!) - appeared, in full fleshy forms, at, appropriately, the West End's Vaudeville Theatre. What fun we had!

Inevitably, there was a bit of polish needed at times - the clips that introduced the acts didn't sound or look too clear from ten rows back - but this was not a production to be judged on such criteria. It was a show that celebrated what we did when we had nowhere to go, the fact that we got through it and, most of all, that we're back. Social distancing may still have been in force but the fourth wall was very permeable, supportive hands going both ways as theatre clambers off the floor, having been invited to use its own bootstraps for leverage. (How much did the bankers get in 2008?)

If politics was never far away, the malign figure of the Prime Minister did not interfere with the entertainment on offer. We got some traditional stand-up from Seán Burke, who has an office chair that might interest you, and some fine comedy character work from Naomi Cooper as a 21st century Margo from The Good Life and Rosie Holt waving her Brexity flag and skewering those who still need skewering, even today.

Some of the best moments came via stories from people who just decided to do something and found that it went viral (although never underestimate the hard work undertaken before that "luck" kicks in). Lizzie Gee and her son, eight year-old Rufus Bateman, charmed us as much on stage as they did on screen with their tap routines, Joe Carter told us to Just Do It and then Just Post it to 1.7m followers and Mufseen Miah and Spencer Cooper explained how they brokered a long distance friendship into a podcast that brought isolated LGBT+ people together to tell uplifting stories.

All steered by our hosts, Kerry Boyne and Liza Minnelli Sooz Kempner (her impersonation as pin-sharp on stage as on Twitch), the bill was rounded off by the pastiche songs of Rob Madge (pattering Sondheim with satirical spears) and Oscar Conlon-Morrey, whose mix of boozy video and Bigginsy stage presence rounded off the evening wonderfully well. I was only disappointed not to see him on the Tube home, leading the singing.

Perhaps the value of the night was best exemplified by a little story told by Austyn Farrell. When he took his lip-synching, Tina Turner tribute stuff into his Enfield street, one neighbour ensured that the traffic found another route and another asked him to give a little knock just before he started, as she had been sheltering and seeing him strut his stuff from her kitchen window made her day.

Good work Sir, good work.

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From This Author Gary Naylor