The Bilston Bear Show - Jimmy Carlo

Rhyl Pavilion Theatre

Reviewed by Stuart Loughland

On 29th October my nephew and I went along to the Rhyl Pavilion Theatre to see a performance of the first UK tour of Jimmy Carlo’s new venture The Bilston Bear Show.

The production was a fun packed show from start to finish and was well received by the enthusiastic family audience. The scenery, props and costumes were of excellent quality which is something that a lot of production companies tend to ignore these days with their “it's only for kids attitude”. Even a lot of thought had been given to the banded merchandise that was available in the foyer and because of this it seemed to be selling very well.

The simple storyline was fun and was interspersed with games, magic, puppets in the guise of Tic Toc the talking clock, and also some catchy songs; a lot of which were written and performed by Jimmy himself.

The show starts with Jimmy as his alter ego Jimbo arranging a band practise in the Rainbow forest with his main character Bilston and his pal Doofus the Dog. These costume performers are well cast as they get the story across without actually speaking as is the bubbly Polly Pigtails as Jimbo’s sidekick who contrasts his cheeky mischievous character really well.

One of the highlights of the show for my nephew was Jimmy’s version of the “Hole in my Bucket” song and also the audience participation section when four children did a routine with him dressed as Rabbits - it brought the house down. The comedy and magic in the show works really well with children and adults alike and the whole show had a good feel about it from start to finish.

Good luck to Jimmy and his hard working team with the second leg of this tour in the Spring of 2008. It’s good to see people out their flying the Variety flag and putting their money where their mouth is.

© Stuart Loughland, November 2007