That’ll Be The Day – Review – Hull City Hall
By Matthew Walker, October 2017
The cast and crew of That’ll Be The Day arrived at Hull City Hall to whisk residents of the UK City of Culture 2017 off on a nostalgic rollercoaster ride down memory lane.
Written, directed and produced by Trevor Payne (who also performs in the show) since its inception in 1986, That’ll Be The Day relives some of the greatest musical acts from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. But it’s so much more than just a music show. The performances are punctuated with comedy sketches, impressions and other rib-tickling shenanigans that keep the show bouncing along with life and energy.
Payne doubles up with long-time comedy co-star Gary Anderson during these comedic interludes. After 35 years of working together, they show no signs of losing their magic as the chemistry is clear to see and a joy to watch. Along with the musical talent on display, this is undoubtedly what keeps the show fresh and entices the crowds’ year-after-year.
With nostalgia being a big part of “TBTD”, it’s easy to see why the show appeals to a particular generation. However, a bit of risqué comedy aside, there’s something for everyone – there was even a seven-year-old in the audience, who loved having his birthday read out.
The show is updated annually to bring in current material – for example President Trump (Gary Anderson) divulges his plan to send a manned space expedition to the sun, but don’t worry he will do it at night, and a lovers tiff erupts between Trevor Payne and Mrs Brown (Anderson, again).
A short stand-up comedy performance by Mick Jagger and his larger than life… personality (ahem) is also one of the highlights of the evening. Plus, Trevor being a dead ringer for Cliff Richard, and Gary bearing more than a resemblance to Tom Jones, it’s only natural that they both feature heavily in the proceedings.
Musically the show follows a chronological path from the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, through the Swinging Sixties and right up to the time of Live Aid. It includes performances by many of the greats of that time period – Elvis, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison (sort of), The Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Rod Stewart and Tina Turner to name but a few.
These stars are taken off brilliantly by a wonderfully talented cast of musical impersonators, including singers Jodie Lawson, Nikki Renee Hechavarria and Peter John Jackson – who has previously appeared on the West End as Paul McCartney in Let It Be (and even learned to play the bass left-handed), guitarist Ollie Gray and bassist Jarrod Loughlin.
Other segments include a day at ‘Palisades Park’, the ‘Tom Jones Show’, a 1980s Top of the Pops countdown and a Queen medley. Plus, you’ve not listened to the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album until you heard the whole record condensed into 15 minutes.
All-in-all, That’ll Be The Day is a wonderfully fun-filled musical extravaganza. Trevor Payne and co promise to return to Hull next year, and judging by their reception, it will be another sell out spectacular.