- By Sandra Rout Neil Hurst, the Musicals … and More
Victoria Theatre Green Room Bar
Halifax’s own King of panto, Neil Hurst, revealed another side of his talent in this musical treat which took us on a tour of shows from golden oldies Calamity Jane, Me and My Girl and My Fair Lady to Spamalot and Wicked with a few other songs thrown in for good measure.
Always a genial host, Neil’s gags and wisecracks between numbers kept the laughter flowing and he had us joining in right from the start, the audience warming to him from the moment he burst onto the stage with the upbeat Copacabana, moving straight into Can’t Take my Eyes off You from the Jersey Boys.
The standout performance of the evening was Neil’s rendition of Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera. Suddenly transformed from cheeky chappie to the tortured, haunted soul that is the Phantom, he gave a performance that belonged on a West End stage.
Neil’s former leading ladies added extra depth and glamour. Jennie Burrows, Cinderella in the Victoria Theatre’s 2009 panto, dueted with Neil with songs from Les Miserables and The Wild Party; Katie-Faye Moorhouse wowed with Neverland and a number from Little Shop of Horrors and the fabulous Lisa Kelsey sparkled in The Song That Goes Like This from Spamalot which, with delicious irony, sends up every song you’ve ever heard in a musical.