REVIEW; Me and My Girl at Chichester Festival Theatre

Caroline Quentin stars in Me and My Girl at Chichester Festival Theatre. Picture by Johan Persson
Caroline Quentin stars in Me and My Girl at Chichester Festival Theatre. Picture by Johan Persson
Jake Quickenden is starring in pantom as the Handsome Prince in Cinderella at The Kings Theatre, Southsea in December, 2018. Picture by Priti Shikotra

Jake Quickenden will be on the look-out for his Cinderella at The Kings Theatre

Disappointment inevitably descends when you are told that The Star is off and you’re going to see the show with The Cover doing the leading role.

But if you’re heading Chichester-way and Matt Lucas is still hors de combat, panic not. You are in good hands. Very good hands.

At Monday’s press-night performance, Ryan Pidgen did the showbiz thing and went out there a chorus-boy and came back a star.

I’m sure he had more than the ‘few hours rehearsal’ director Daniel Evans assured us because Pidgen was rock-solid as cheerful, chirpy Cockney, Bill Snibson. No. He was more than rock-solid. He owned Bill Snibson, one-hundred percent.

Nicely directed (Daniel Evans) and slickly choreographed (Alistair David) the show is Feel Good Central – with the buzziest, busiest ensemble I’ve seen in ages.

Lovely work from Alex Young (Sally), Clive Rowe (Sir John) and, particularly, Jennie Dale as Parchester, but revelation of the evening is Caroline Quentin. I’ve always enjoyed her acting – but who knew that soprano voice lived in there or that those feet could tap like that? The woman is brilliant – and a joy.

And who knew tap-wellies were a thing?

Get in the car, get to Chichester and see it. The cockles of your heart will be warmed.