REVIEW: The Temperance Seven at The Kings Theatre, Southsea

The Temperance Seven
The Temperance Seven
Tom Chambers as  Bobby and company in Crazy For You. Picture by Richard Davenport

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For two glorious and uproarious hours, we fortunate few were whisked away from the wild and wet weekend weather for something altogether more uplifting.

Take a bow, Captain Buckley and ‘the chaps’ for transforming the Kings into a theatre of the absurd.

Their small but appreciative audience was royally entertained on Sunday afternoon with a side-splitting show of songs and slapstick.

As the Captain exuded an exasperation redolent of Captain Mainwairing and Oliver Hardy, what was not to like about these quintessentially British ‘wizened alco-minstrels’ who managed (mainly!) to keep a stiff upper lip and a traditional show of reserve whilst delivering their mirth-filled music?

Oh, and they can play a bit too. The Seven (of whom there are eight!) are virtuosos on the penny whistle and the euphonium, and it seems just about every instrument in between.

Incredibly, they are celebrating their 60th anniversary. ‘We’re the only band to have made a comeback without ever having gone anywhere’ intoned the Captain. Much of their music, though, is from further back still - the trad jazz sound created more than 100 years ago on the street corners and in the bourbon joints of New Orleans.

From the pacy ‘Tiger Rag’ to the lilting ‘Autumn Leaves’ they leave their audience with a rich choice when it comes to deciding which tune to hum in appreciation on the way home.

Regrettably, that moment came all too soon as the chaps took their leave (no doubt headed straight to the bar in which they had mixed with fans during the interval) and we ventured out into the rain.

‘If you’ve enjoyed it half as much as us, we’ve enjoyed it twice as much as you’ observed the Captain.

Precisely, sir - precisely!