by Tony Flood

The Royal Hippodrome celebrates the return of live theatre in style with musical extravaganza There’s No Business Like Show Business.
A cast of local professionals, headed by charismatic comedy host Grant Martins, provide excellent vocals, dance routines and humour to mark the theatre’s re-opening with a wonderful, socially distanced production. Their unique magical mix adds up to a superb evening’s entertainment!
Multi-talented Grant and Alex Adams work off each other so well in Me and My Shadow and We’re In The Money after kicking off the evening by leading the company in the title song.
Barney and Paula Pout, who have performed for many years as Duality and are appearing this summer in ‘Sunday Night Live’ at the Hippodrome along with their band The Rhythm Crew, also show great chemistry.
They are hilarious as a bickering couple in Goody Goody, and shine again in Me and My Girl, as do Thomas Hackett, Star Bray and Company with The Lambeth Walk from the same hit show.
Vivacious Laura Sivers and the girls wow us with Why Do Fools Fall In Love, while Laura and Star Bray give a great rendition of The Rose. Nick Hollands also oozes confidence and earns prolonged applause with What A Wonderful World.
Other fine performances are given by Sarah Baker, Vicky Potter, Eliza Hackett and Darcie Bennett.
There’s No Business Like Show Business is brilliantly produced by Alex and Debbie Adams, with Alex also the director and Debbie the choreographer. Other vital contributions are made by stage manager Stuart French, lighting designer Megan Stanfield and sound designer Nick Todd.
It is the Hippodrome’s first show since December last year. With the help of Arts Council grants during a very difficult 18 months, the theatre staff have carried out a huge amount of work. Meticulous planning of backstage and front of house arrangements make the venue Covid secure, along with refurbishment, upgrading and improvement.
There’s No Business Like Show Business continues on Friday and Saturday May 28th and 29th at 8pm, and an extended version will hopefully return in the summer. It would be great if they can add another show-stopper such as I Dreamed A Dream or All I Ask Of You.
* Debbie and Alex Adams are the proprietors and principals of the Trapdoor Theatre School in Eastbourne, providing musical theatre training for children aged 3-18.