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London Calling (Salisbury)

London Calling at the Salberg, Salisbury - another delightful alternative to the traditional pantomime.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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London Telephone Booth and Big Ben
© Sung Kuk KIm

Picture the scene; a dim lamp light flickers on a damp, foggy night close to the banks of the River Thames and here we find our trio of highly accomplished and versatile performers, who sing, play numerous instruments, act and dance through nearly two hours of sheer enchantment. They weave us through an eclectic assortment of songs describing the many diverse aspects of London town. The intimate atmosphere of the Salberg Studio is perfect for this original piece of theatre.

There is no real plot or story line to follow, which I personally would have preferred, and many eras are spanned. Yet somehow the performers cleverly link the audience into a wonderful fusion of bye gone days tinged with nostalgia, saucy ditties eliciting titters and rousing war time tunes touching upon misty memories. The three voices meld and harmonise beautifully, and, on occasion have qualities reminiscent of a classic barbershop combination. All three are note and pitch perfect, including the amusing acapella segment.

Personal favourites include; ‘The Streets of London' sung hypnotically by Stuart McLoughlin accompanied only by his guitar; ‘Baker Street' performed by all three with Lauren Storer playing the saxophone in this haunting rendition; and two comedy numbers, superbly executed by Glyn Kerslake. His interpretation of a ‘Hinge and Bracket' type woman watching ‘Wimbledon' is a triumph, similarly his elucidation of a lothario who can't live without women is pure genius and very convincing!!

Storer is jaunty and sings ‘Warwick Avenue' and ‘Soho Square' wistfully and convincingly.

Once more, the Salberg Theatre at the Salisbury Playhouse has provided another delightful alternative to the traditional pantomime in the main theatre, which is both relaxing and infinitely enjoyable.

London Calling plays at the Salberg Studio, Salisbury Playhouse until 18 January 2014.

- Veronica Crowley