The Case of the Frightened Lady (Theatre Royal, Windsor) 24th February, 2018- The Case of the Frightened Lady (Theatre Royal, Windsor, until January 20th then touring)
Recently returned from a sojourn in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland, where I was knitting ear muffs for polar bears and mittens for the Kalaallit and I got stranded after missing the 517 bus home, I was delighted to make a visit to Royal Windsor for a murderously mysterious murder mystery at the Theatre Royal, Windsor.
One of the most exciting experiences I have ever had in the theatre ...
Annie (Theatre Royal, Brighton) 15th January, 2016- We all know what happened to her when she grew up – she got a gun and went off with Wild Buffalo Bill Hiccups. But the story of Annie Oakley’s bittersweet early life is told in the classic musical Annie, now touring the UK.
Seeing the show brought back happy memories for me as I once played the part of Annie in a production where Gillian Offaldrop was supposed to be doing it, but she fell off her roller skates ...
The Last Tango 18th November, 2015- The Last Tango (Theatre Royal, Brighton)
Sometimes life imitates art and such was the case when I waltzed my way along to the Theatre Royal for The Last Tango. Before the show started I went to the bar and asked for my favourite orange fizzy drink only to be told that I had ordered THE LAST TANGO!
If Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacacacacace were aware of this spooky coincidence they certainly didn’t show it in their amazing dancing, which just ...
Mack and Mabel (Chichester Festival Theatre) 17th August, 2015- Mack and Mabel (Chichester Festival Theatre)
Life is full of disappointments. Such as when you are in the theatre and you queue for ages to get a ginger ice cream only to find they only have coffee flavour left. Or the time when I was young and got taken for a day out to see a zebra crossing – and there wasn’t even a zebra! I’d even have been content to see a pony, but there was just this black ...
East is East 16th June, 2015- East is East (Theatre Royal, Brighton)
I remember seeing a really good play with that great actor Alec McCowen (who was born in Tunbridge Wells, where I went shopping only the other day) in which he played Rudyard Kipling. I think the play was called Kipling, which was a strange coincidence.
By some chance I went to Bateman’s a few weeks ago to see where Mr Kipling wrote (he wasn’t the same man who made the exceedingly good cakes, that ...
Ooh Wakka Doo What a Show! 9th June, 2015- The Pirates of Penzance (Theatre Royal, Brighton)
With a string of hits in the 1970s, it is no surprise that Gilbert O’Sullivan should try his hand at writing a musical – but The Pirates of Penzance was very different to what I expected from the singer who stole the hearts of a music-loving nation with the likes of Clair, Get Down and Alone Again Naturally.
I thought the musical would have had someone like David Essex in it, because he ...
Peter Pan Goes Wrong 22nd April, 2015- Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Theatre Royal, Brighton)
I have been to the theatre many times when something has gone wrong. I remember going to see Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee, starring Robert Powell (who played Jesus on TV), and the lights went out so the performance had to be cancelled, though it was very nice of Mr Powell to come out on stage still dressed as Hercule Poirot the Belgian detective to explain what had happened and I did get home ...
The Producers 20th April, 2015- The Producers (Theatre Royal, Brighton)
In 1979 I really enjoyed going to the cinema complete with a bag of Revels and a giant bucket of popcorn so I could see Mad Max, starring Mel Gibson.
That post-apocalyptic thriller has now been turned into an unusual stage musical called The Producers. As with so many of these screen to stage transfers much of the original story has been lost in translation, and I didn’t quite understand all of it, but there ...
A Mad World, My Masters 13th March, 2015- A Mad World, My Masters (Theatre Royal, Brighton)
Way back in the swinging Sixties I was taken to the cinema to see a very funny film called It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I remember laughing hysterically and having to be taken out several times to eat vanilla ice cream, as that was all you could get in those days rather than the odd flavours they try to sell you now, but it brings back happy memories.
That film ...
And Then There Were None 12th March, 2015- And Then There Were None (Devonshire Park, Theatre, Eastbourne)
I had quite forgotten that Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery which we are not allowed to call by its proper name nowadays was now known by the title And Then There Were None. So when I saw that there was a touring production of it I thought it was some Sound of Music spoof about nuns.
But how wrong I was! For who should be touring this production but the marvellous ...
Saturday Night Fever 5th March, 2015- Saturday Night Fever (Theatre Royal, Brighton)
I had a really bad cold and a high temperature last weekend and was quite feverish, so it was a really funny coincidence that only days later I should have gone to see Saturday Night Fever.
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother or whether you’re a pensioner or whether you’re a llama, I’m sure you’d enjoy this exciting production based on the film, which provided the disco soundtrack to the 70s ...
Dead Simple – it’s Dead Good! 24th February, 2015- Dead Simple (Theatre Royal, Brighton)
Reviewing the play Dead Simple is dead simple: it has to be the best play I have ever seen anywhere – and Robert Powell (who played Jesus on TV) wasn’t even in it. If he was he was unrecognisable, which just goes to show how professional he is.
I have always enjoyed the P.D. James novels featuring Adam Dalgleish, so it is a joy to see her son, Peter, continuing her crime writing success with ...
The History Boys 10th February, 2015- The History Boys (Theatre, Royal, Brighton)
When I went to see The History Boys by Alan Bennett at Brighton it was one of the most exciting evenings I have ever had!
As we all squeezed into the foyer waiting for the doors to open, the lovely front of house manager Ian (who’s always good for an extra strong mint if you have a tickly throat) beat a path through the throng followed by none other than David Dimbleby! I hurriedly ...
Arcadia 6th February, 2015- Arcadia (Theatre Royal, Brighton)
It doesn’t seem that long ago since we were watching Tom Stoppard on countless TV talk shows discussing health and medicine alongside Magnus Pyke and David Bellamy.
Nowadays he is much better known as a playwright, though I wouldn’t have minded going to see him talking about health matters as I had a nasty cold and had to suck on several Fishermen’s Friends during the performance.
Arcadia is a joint production by English Touring Theatre and ...
The Full Monty (Theatre Royal, Brighton) 13th December, 2014- There’s nothing I like more than a proper English breakfast. When I go to so many hotels these days they fob you off with a nasty “Continental breakfast” which is really just an excuse to serve you up an expensive croissant, coffee and a piece of fruit.
For me, there’s nothing to beat a couple of meaty sausages, fried eggs, tomato, black pudding, mushrooms, fried bread, bacon, baked beans and hash browns. So I was thrilled to discover a new ...
Miracle on 34th Street (Theatre Royal, Brighton) 7th December, 2014- I went along to Brighton to see the stage musical Miracle on 34th Street and came out believing in Father Christmas.  I have always been a bit sceptical about Father Christmas ever since I saw mummy kissing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe one Christmas, but I can honestly say my faith has been well and truly restored by this brilliant musical.
It is the best thing I have ever seen at Brighton’s Theatre Royal. In fact it may well be ...
Cole Porter in Hollywood: The John Wilson Orchestra (The Dome, Brighton, November 10th 2014) 12th November, 2014- Well, did you evah – what a swell concert this was! I started my review of the John Wilson Orchestra playing Cole Porter with that line because that’s the name of a Cole Porter song from the musical High Society, and it was included in the concert.
Anything goes when it comes to the John Wilson Orchestra playing Cole Porter. Actually it doesn’t, but that’s the name of another Cole Porter musical.
All I can say to the John Wilson ...
Gypsy (Chichester Festival Theatre, October/November 2014) 24th October, 2014- When I was very young I used to be taken into Brighton for a day at the seaside. One of the highlights, apart from the candy floss and the penny arcades, was to visit the small stripy tent belonging to the renowned fortune teller, Gypsy Rose Lee.
Little did I realise at the time, but my palm was being read by the great American Bawdyville entertainer who was the inspiration for one of the great American musicals – Gypsy – ...
Murder on Air (Theatre Royal, Brighton) 2nd September, 2014- I always enjoy seeing a good drama by that criminal dame Agatha Christie so it was a nice surprise to see not one but three thrillers presented as part of Murder on Air at Brighton.
It was really clever, because the company pretended to be actors and they were recording the three plays for radio in the 1950s. If it had been much earlier they wouldn’t have been doing it because radio hadn’t been invented, so thank goodness for Macaroni.
Annie Get Your Gun (Theatre Royal, Brighton) 26th August, 2014- There’s no business like showbusiness, and if anyone should know the truth of that statement then it’s Annie Oakley, who got her gun and her man – even though she claimed you couldn’t get a man with a gun, so that was a bit confusing.
It’s always pleasing to see these big musicals on stage because they don’t show them at the cinema any more, and when you watch them on TV it’s not anything like them being live on ...
Rock of Ages (Theatre Royal, Brighton) 12th August, 2014- Many people will be familiar with the 18th Century hymn ‘Rock of Ages’ which was written as a hymn in the 18th Century. It is a very good hymn, and I believe was a favourite of Prince Albert (best known for being the husband of Queen Victoria, played by Anna Neagle).
How it came to be written would make a very good subject for a stage production, but the musical Rock of Ages, currently on tour, has nothing to do ...
Forbidden Broadway (Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre) 6th August, 2014- If you like funny shows where Christopher Biggins (best known for On Safari on TV) is in the audience then the very funny Forbidden Broadway is definitely the show for you.
I suppose it’s possible that Christopher Biggins (best known for Brendon Chase on TV) won’t be in the audience when you go, but he was in the audience when I went. I know, because I saw him. It’s rather a funny coincidence, because I was in the audience at ...
Scooby Doo: The Mystery of the Pyramid 30th July, 2014- You’ll believe that cartoon characters can be brought to life when you see the cartoon characters Scooby Doo and his friends brought to life in Scooby Doo: the Mystery of the Pyramid.
It was a bit spooky this show should come to Brighton this week as only yesterday I was reading about a court case where the makers of ordinary teabags were suing the makers of pyramid tea bags, though none of this appeared in the plot of the show, ...
West End to Broadway (Congress, Eastbourne, July 25th – August 2nd) 26th July, 2014- From the opening song sung in a foreign language through to the glittering finale in an American accent, I loved every minute of West End to Broadway.
It was staged by the very talented Rattatatonians (so called because they were founded behind a locked door 30 years ago) and some of their original members are still alive, which just goes to show how truly professional they are.
Some of the performers must be so old it’s amazing they can manage ...
Miss Julie Black Comedy (Minerva Theatre, Chichester, until August 9th) 25th July, 2014- Modern theatre can sometimes be very difficult to understand, but we seasoned and professional reviewers have to sit through anything – and often write about productions that float way above our heads.
At the Minerva Theatre in Chichester this summer one of the productions – Miss Julie Black Comedy – definitely falls into the category of being odd and I admit to leaving very puzzled indeed. I thought about it so hard on the train home that I nearly missed ...
April in Paris 22nd July, 2014- Doris Day once sang a really nice song called April in Paris. When I saw that a play of that name was coming to the Theatre Royal, Brighton, I thought it might have been all about Doris Day. But it wasn’t.
Instead John Godber’s April in Paris is about a married couple – Al and Bet (if you put the names together it almost sounds like Albert, which is a bit French-sounding, so is very appropriate) who don’t really get ...
Blake, RHT, Eastbourne 12th July, 2014- 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 ...
Under Milk Wood (Theatre Royal, Brighton) 1st July, 2014- I went to the Theatre Royal in Brighton today, which was lucky as I was reviewing a play there called Under Milk Wood.
It was written by Dylan Thomas (named after the rabbit in The Magic Roundabout) and was all about Welsh people. I know it was because I once accidentally saw an episode of Pobol y Cwm on TV, which I think was about Myfanwy and her border collie becoming mayor.
I really like Only Men Aloud and I ...
Dawn French – Thirty Million Minutes 24th June, 2014- I went to Brighton to see a thing starring Dawn French, best known for her appearance on TV in Murder Most Horrid. It was called Thirty Million Minutes because that’s how many episodes of The Comic Strip Presents there were.
It was a solo tour but I think it could have done with some dancers because I quite like dancing in a show, especially when it is by Dougie Squires’ Second Generation.
Although Dawn French is best known as a comedian (mostly as part ...

Pam Perde writes theatre reviews in her spare time. Not that she has much of it! Her company – The Purly Queen –  specialises in knitting life-sized versions of your favourite pets, colourful covers for Mongolian nose flutes, and walnut whip gift bags. The most exciting time she has ever had in the theatre was when she was attending a performance of Black Coffee at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Theatre and all the lights went out.