The Rat Pack
The eponymous members of this club were Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr; there were other pretenders to the title but it was really just this trio of carousing crooners who deserved the sobriquet. They're all gone now so for anyone keen to taste a flavour of their Las Vegas heyday, the Theatre Royal's current tribute show offers the ideal opportunity.
With an on-stage backing band and glittering cabaret set. impersonators Stephen Triffit (Sinatra), Mark Adams (Martin) and George Long (Davis Jr) give the audience a medley of song and spoof, conducted in an atmosphere of jousting camaraderie that probably comes close to the original for authenticity. Triffit captures Sinatra's mannerisms and intonation very well although the special magic of "The Voice" is often missing. Adams doesn't really resemble Martin but he does convey the man's easy charm and Long is excellent as the mercurial Sammy Davis. Old classics like New York, New York, That's Amore and Mr Bojangles make a welcome appearance, heartily welcomed by the capacity crowd and delivered with varying degrees of conviction.
The first half is somewhat sluggish, much improving after the interval as the pace livens up and there's some sparkling repartee between the three men. Nostalgia certainly plays a large part in the show's potential appeal but it's an uneven affair overall, mediocre in parts, good intermittently. As undemanding middle-of-the-road entertainment it's fine but hey, as the show's finale "That's Life" concludes, you can't win 'em all.
Notices from the popular press....
IAN JOHNS for THE TIMES says, "Accomplished entertainment...But by the end you’re applauding the nostalgia more than the show." JONATHAN GIBBS for TIME OUT says, "As fun an evening out as an inevitable disappointment can be."
External links to full reviews from newspapers