Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show

Feb 28 2018 | By More

★★★★☆   Entertaining

Kings Theatre: Tue 27 Feb – Sat 3 Mar 2018
Review by Sarah Moyes

The King of Variety is back at the Kings Theatre with another fantastic show packed full of entertainment, music and mayhem.

Allan Stewart has become a legend on the entertainment scene in Scotland, and for his latest Big Big Variety Show he’s brought together some great showbiz names. This year’s line-up includes Edinburgh’s favourite panto baddie Grant Stott, comedian Fred MacAulay, magic comic Phil Butler and performances by soul legends, The Three Degrees, and his daughter Kate.

Allan Stewart

If wouldn’t be a variety show without a dabbling of magic, and variety entertainer Phil Butler brings a mix of magic and comedy to his Kings Theatre debut. While the audience do laugh along with him, his act is far from ground-breaking.

The final reveal of his main trick might be impressive – but its momentum is lost in a sea of people who have just spent 10 minutes throwing a beach ball around to get there. In fact, when the beach ball hits him in the face is one of the funnier moments of his act.

Soul legends, The Three Degrees bring an air of nostalgia to the production, transporting us back to the seventies with some of their hit songs including Dirty Ol’ Man, Givin’ Up, Givin’ In, and the classic When Will I See You Again which earns them their biggest cheer.

A “special” preview of this year’s pantomime Beauty and the Beast is up next, if the announcer is to be believed. Well that’s if we’re to expect Allan Stewart dressed as Belle hiding behind a piano that the audience is pretending is a rock – and Grant Stott acting as the Beast (from the East, of course) who wants to take Belle back to his castle.

A Trio Old As Time

The pair then launch into a rendition of Tale As Old As Time which has been renamed Trio Old As Time. It’s one of the highlights of the first act with lyrics about Andy Gray’s move to River City and the trio returning to the King’s stage later this year.

The Three Degrees sang their biggest hits

Act two begins with the return of the now famous McRobert Brothers. Stewart is Wee Boaby and of course towering over him, Stott is Big Boaby. There’s a few first night mistakes with Wee Boaby getting a song title wrong and Big Boaby forgetting a prop, but both are met with hysterics from the audience who lap up every bit of it.

Comic and presenter Fred MacAulay is up next. Despite being a household name, from the audience reactions to his questioning at the beginning of his around half don’t know who he is. However his observational wit wins round an audience happy to laugh at jokes about Edinburgh trams and why all lottery winners are fat. He then leads a super group of all the evening’s acts in a rendition of Daydreamer Believer with Stott showing off his drumming skills are part of tonight’s band.

If you missed any of Grant Stott’s Tales From Behind The Mic before, then he indulges us with some more recent stories from his time playing panto baddie Hibernia. He describes everything from his struggle to put on tights to his relief at talking off his bra at the end of the day, both of which the women in the audience understand only too well.

Stewart then introduces his daughter Kate, who wows the audience with a stunning performance of Whitney Houston’s Run To You. For such a powerful song, Kate sings it with the kind of easy delivery that makes it look effortless.

Allan Stewart has one against proved himself to be everyone’s favourite entertainer. His Big Big Variety Show is a joyous night of entertainment that should leave you smiling for days.

Running time: 2 hours 15 mins (including interval)
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Tuesday 27 February – Saturday 3 March 2018
Evenings 7.30pm; Matinees Wed & Sat 2.30pm.
Tickets and details:


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