Reviewer: Simon Topping
Springing on to stage in his trademark shiny shirt, to the music of Robbie Williams- Let Me Entertain You, Dave Benson Phillip’s appears not to have lost any of his enthusiasm for life, considering he was declared dead by internet trolls eight years ago.
Children of the late 1980s to early 2000s will remember Phillips from children’s TV classics such as Playdays, Playhouse Disney and Get Your Own Back! Tonight he promises to take us on a trip down memory lane to where his career began and emphatically put to bed the rumours, once and for all, of his premature death.
The night has a dinner party (with holiday snaps) feel to it, as Phillips flips through a series of slides on screen and asks the audience to spot the celebrities he has worked with. Several anecdotes derive from these pictures; including snippets about Johnny Depp, Pat Sharp and Warwick Davis. There is also a touching tribute to his children’s television heroes, Derek Griffiths and Floella Benjamin.
The Q and A provides scope for the eager and animated crowd to get involved. One overexcited audience member even asks Phillip’s to lap dance for her. He gracefully and quickly moves on.
The piece has the potential, with more crafting, to be an engaging and interesting watch, because there is a compelling story to be heard. Phillips has been through an awful ordeal in the past decade; “No work comes in when you’re dead”, he says in a sombre tone and it is clear the profound effects on his work and life continue to this day. Thankfully, however, Phillips is on the up again. All fans should go and see the show in support. He lives!
Runs 27,28 May 2017 at Sweet St Andrews
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