Neil’s a national treasure

7/2/2017 (CB)  The Portsmouth Players theatre group are putting on 9 to 5 (based on Dolly Parton's music) for their next show at The Kings Theatre from the 21st-25th February.   Pictured is: (l-r) Georgina-Rose Rust as Judy Burnley, Rachel Dean as Doralee Rhodes and Jacqueline Willis as Violet Newstead.  Picture: Sarah Standing (170182-2495)

REVIEW: 9 To 5: The Musical, Kings Theatre, Southsea

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Neil Innes

Aschcroft Arts Centre, Fareham

Neil Innes strolls to the microphone with a twinkle in his eye and merriment in his soul. We are in for a treat.

This maestro of mirth - ‘I’ve never done a slick show in my life’ - delivers a sardonic slapdash that draws on a lifetime of observing the human condition in an idiosyncratic and endearing way.

He juggles the language with aplomb - how can you but marvel at lyrics like: ‘At the Ambassador’s Reception, I had to get away, So I hid behind a pyramid of Ferrero Roche.’?

He makes us laugh and he also makes us think as he considers the angst of life, from becoming an elderly ‘concession’ through the streets of downtown LA to the significance of the words ‘God is ‘love’ scrawled on a lavatory wall. He wears a giant duck on his head, he impersonates stars from Max Wall to Beyonce and, despite the occasional dark themes to his humour, he makes us feel good about ourselves.

By the time we’re clapping, singing and blowing raspberries in unison as we await the tub-thumping encore that is I’m the Urban Spaceman, this Bonzo bard has reminded us once more of his undoubted status as a national treasure.

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