Review: Eric’s Christmas Turkey

Photo courtesy of Andrew Billington

David Graham returns to the New Vic with his festive show ‘Eric’s Christmas Turkey’.

The New Vic favourite’s follow up to the autumn ‘Eric’s Monster Mash’ finds the Basford Amateur Dramatics (BAD) short of a player or two and long suffering Bev (Laura Sheppard) brings along her husband to the latest meeting. He seems more interested in Twinkle (Carly Cook) than any thespian aspirations.

Finding their rehearsal room double-booked with a local band, they reluctantly set about combining forces for the upcoming play. With the band short on gigs and the players’ short on actors they set about intertwining their ‘whodunnit’ with various musical interludes. The whole scenario is poised for a quality set of farcical situations in true ‘Eric’ style.

As with any ‘Eric’ production, the quality of the production and the music was fantastic. There was hilarity from start to finish, I must say that my glasses during the second half in particular were off more than they were on as I was wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes, it was extremely funny, just exactly my sense of humour.

The musical choices were spot on with ‘get up and dance numbers’ as well as a fantastic rendition of Unchained Melody from Harvey James. Jack Pinder was great as ‘Steve’ the self-professed ladies’ man, who gave a fantastic portrayal of Mick Jagger. Alan Howell gave a really energetic performance and myself as an ELO fan, was particularly impressed with his Mr. Blue Sky. Laura Sheppard and Carly Cook were fantastic as ever with both their acting and the vocal performances and got the crowd on their feet and dancing with their upbeat numbers. Lawrence Russell played his role as frustrated director very well in the first half and was hilarious (as were the rest of the cast) in the second half. Lewis Williams was great on drums and played his role in the second half well. Finally David Graham, the ever present anchor on the ‘Eric’ ship was great.

The warmth the cast have for the crowd is sincerely returned and my half time interval conversation with the lady sat next to me said that this was the highlight of her November.

It was so great to see so many families enjoying this show together, it is one that definitely spans its appeal across generations with children, parents and grandparents coming together as a family to enjoy the quality music and the comedy. Long, long before it came to an end everyone was on their feet, dancing, singing and enjoying the evening together as a collective.

One plug I must make is for the ‘Eric’ book in which David Graham announced all proceedings would be going to the Donna Louise Hospice, if you are looking for a present for a friend or relative, they are available at the venue for £10.

The gags were plentiful, the music infectious, the rapport with audience and cast would warm a cold winter evening and the quality of the production A1. Eric’s Christmas Turkey, should be renamed Eric’s Christmas Cracker!.

The performance is on until 10th December, tickets are available here

Photos courtesy of Andrew Billington