Wearing high-waisted trousers and a fixed grin revealing gleaming white gnashers, Nigel Harman acts like god in this surprisingly funny new musical which features some totally unexpected sight gags, powerful voices and a randy puppet dog called Barlow (manipulated by Simon Lipkin) who gets the hots for the man whose critical jibes made him famous for making other people famous.
The whole thing is impossible to take seriously with pneumatic Jordy and decrepit Louis joining him to pass judgement on the talented wannabes (including Jedward lookalikes, a supermarket checkout assistant and a rapping hunchback) competing for a £1m recording contract.
At the centre is a gentle love story between Chenice (with her suitably sad backstory of living in a caravan under the flyover with a granddad in an iron lung and a single electrical socket) and ukulele-playing plumber Max (Alan Morrissey). As Chenice, Cynthia Erivo confirms her star potential with a gorgeously powerful voice in a tiny package – and although writer Harry Hill and Steve Brown (music and lyrics) are far from subtle, the result is silly, witty and way OTT in equal measure as it pokes broad fun not only at the programme that inspired it but at a host of West End shows as well.
Where: London Palladium, Argyll Street, W1A 3AB
The show’s running until October 25, and tickets cost £20. To book, click here