Joe Ringer reminds me of the best of the variety stars of the Twentieth Century. He can sing, he has phenomenal musical talent and a very self assured presenting style. He manages to coax a proper big band sound from his very capable entourage of eleven musicians and eight singers, along with his co-star Roxy Yarnold.
‘The Greatest Show’ is a lively show that is all about the tunes that have proved to be classic favourites from the world of the movies, which Joe enhances with some adroit arrangements and a charming selection of extra guests to liven up an already impressive programme.
Two accomplished dancers Molly Hirt and Alex Murray help to spice up the night with some appropriately hot dance moves to tunes from both Dirty Dancing and Moulin Rouge, and eleven year-old Anna Hathaway steals the hearts of the audience in a duet with Joe. The young stars from the Lowestoft ‘Stars of the Stage’ school joined the professionals for an impressive ‘Shrek’ medley which gained a huge ovation from the audience for their confident performance
Joe’s partner Roxy Yarnold is a fine singer who tackles classics such as Somewhere Over The Rainbow in a distinctive and self-assured manner, and duets with Joe on many of the film classics that make up this show, from Bond movies and 80s greats right through to the Blues Brothers tunes that mark the climax of this hugely enjoyable show. To add to the glamour Roxy seems to turn up on stage with an ever more dazzling outfit for almost every song she performs.
Cramming nearly forty famous tunes into one evening could be a bit too much but Joe has managed to orchestrate some medleys and segues that make the music keep flowing smoothly while still giving us the familiar essence of the songs.
The result of all the hard work is a show that is great fun, very lively and very well received by the audience in the Theatre Royal tonight. The sound is just right, with a good balance between vocal and instrumental levels so that you can hear every word sung, and credit must go to the sound desk guys Iain Court and Mark Fawcett for this achievement. Joe works his musicians hard but the results are worth the effort and they all look as though they were enjoying the experience too. Nothing compares with the sound of a big band playing live and Joe Ringer has created one of the tightest bands I have ever enjoyed. A great bit of showmanship – just right for a sultry summer evening. On the basis of this popular evening I expect that tickets for his Christmas shows at The Playhouse and the Gorleston Pavilion will sell out soon.
© Julian Swainson 2019
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