Blake, RHT, Eastbourne

The Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne is supposedly haunted. But there were no ghosts there tonight. Instead, the talented vocal trio Blake (named after the character of the inspector in TV’s On the Buses) took to the stage.

I really enjoy concerts with singers so I liked this concert. The good looking and talented threesome (Stephen, Humphrey, and Ollie) were very funny and also sang a range of songs, including some I knew.

They displayed their talented vocal range in a range of songs – from an al fresco version of Moon River to a splendid version of the song Bring Him Home, from the musical Les Miserables, which I really like, though I must admit I prefer it when Alfie Boe sings it with a beard.

Each of the talented trio took centre stage for the wide range of songs they sang. Stephen, the one with the beard, did a particularly fine version of Chasing Cars by a popular group; Humphrey (though that isn’t his real name or perhaps it is and I am getting confused as he sometimes calls himself Barney, but perhaps that isn’t his actual name, and he is getting married in a fortnight) did a beautiful version of several songs made famous by people including one on a ukulele, but not a George Formby song; and Ollie sang lovely versions of Nissan Dorma (rather appropriate given that the World Cup was on TV at the same time!) and Nellie Fantasy, that beautiful song with words based on Gabriel’s Elbow.

The talented group was joined in the concert by the beautiful and talented Camilla Kerslake, who I think might be related to the Duchess of Cornwall, as they share the same name. I have never thought she should be Queen, but it’s got to the stage where if The Queen were to abdicate the nation may not actually want Prince Charles to be King anyway, then where would we be? I was particularly impressed with Camilla, because she changed frocks for each of her appearances. I rather like it when there are costume changes in shows – for instance there weren’t enough of them in Black Coffee, written by Agatha Christie and starring Robert Powell (who played Jesus on TV).

A local group of singers also appeared on stage to provide backing for Blake, and they also sang a terrific version of Skyfall by Adele, which is a James Bond film, but they didn’t do that dum diddle de dee bit on the guitar that I like. I think they were called The Archies, though I couldn’t hear their name properly as I was unwrapping a Werthers Original at the time. If it was The Archies they didn’t sing their popular 60s hit Sugar, Sugar, which I used to dance to.

There was a very funny moment, probably one of the funniest things I have ever seen in the theatre, when Blake asked a woman in the audience called Pamela, who was wearing a glittering top, if she had liked a song and she said she hadn’t. They managed to get over that little hitch quite well, which just goes to show how talented and professional they are. I laughed a lot, though not as much as I laughed when my next door neighbour tripped over a puppy. 

If you went along to the Hippodrome to see ghosts, then you would have been in for a very disappointing night, as there weren’t any to be seen. Unless that man carrying his head under his arm wasn’t the stage doorman as he claimed. But Blake left us all in high spirits, which is a sort of pun.

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