Call me Russ L

Star stricken

Posted in Stage by Russ L on 25 April, 2006

I was off to Stourbridge Town Hall (the ‘Wollaston Room.’ It’s the library theatre, basically) with the parentals on Friday the 21st of April, to see David Benson‘s one-man-show “Star Struck.” I was looking forward to it a lot, having enjoyed his “Conspiracy Cabaret” a couple of months ago.

This one was a singing, dancing, impressioning and amusing-anecdote-telling extravaganza in two parts. Mr Benson begins by telling us about all of the stars and heroes that he always wanted to be (Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Eric Morecambe, Noel Coward, Orson Welles, John Le Mesurier, Groucho Marx, the list goes on…), and asking us about our own (“Attila The Hun” and “Agneta from Abba” were offered up). I’ve never really been into hero-worship like that (even when I was little, as far as I remember), but David makes the condition seem somewhat appealing. In the second part he tells us of the times he dined with another of his heroes, Quentin Crisp, whose epigrammatic wisdom warns David against this sort of idolisation. Faced with disbelief, Fairy Godfather Crisp whisks David away to a party with all of his heroes, leading to the inevitable disillusionment and realisation that all he needs to do is be himself. It’s apparent from the very beginning what the ending will be, but it’s nonetheless a huge amount of fun getting there.

The main reason for this is that David Benson is an absolutely fantastic performer and entertainer. He’s very funny (both with his pre-prepared lines and spontaneous wit), his impressions are perfect, his singing & tapdancing are great (he claims never to have had a dancing lesson in his life. I’m not sure I believe him), and he himself is very charming.

Really enjoyable, and I definitely want to see more of his shows. I’d recommend them to anybody.

~ Russ L

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