Review: Cannon & Ball rock on in The Dressing Room

On a starry, starry night of entertainment, evergreen double act Cannon & Ball won a standing ovation and singing siblings The Proclaimers performed to a sell-out crowd.

Saturday, 6th August 2016, 11:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:17 pm
Bobby Ball,  writer and star of The Dressing Room.
Bobby Ball, writer and star of The Dressing Room.

Two big draws in one night are a rare occurrence in Chesterfield and the audience got their money’s worth at the Pomegranate this evening (Saturday, August 6).

Bobby Ball’s creation The Dressing Room was a night of pure nostalgia, reminiscent of the much-missed Aquarius nightclnb where 43 years ago Cannon and Ball performed their first show in town.

It’s incredible to think this pair have been entertaining audiences for 54 years now - and that people keep laughing at sketches and jokes that they trotted out years ago. Their imaginary ping-pong game, Bobby’s trademark red braces stretched to breaking point, his catchphrases of ‘Rock on Tommy’ and ‘You Little Liar’ never losing their appeal.

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Tommy’s voice hasn’t lost any of its power as he showed in the solo This Life before the pair’s heart-warming finale, Through The Years, about their time together.

Support act Johnnie Casson, a familiar face at the Aquarius in its heyday, shared good, old-fashioned humour raising raised plenty of laughs without resorting to swear words or being offensive. Jokes about Blackpool, his family and Yorkshire were rattled off with consummate ease from a master comedian.

Stu Francis played the show’s golden-suited camp compere, Billy Tents,whose immortal catchphrase Life Is For Laughing Not Just Living and his exaggerated mouthing of I Love You to the audience brought the house down.

Parts of the show had a pantomime feel as Tommy wore a ridiculous black wig, there were missed cues and ad-libs and the audience broke out into a chant of Bobby, Bobby.

The characters were introduced through scenes in their dressing room. Billy Tents tugged the heart-strings as he talked to himself in the mirror, bemoaning that all he had to show for years on stage was a bedsit and a bottle of whisky for comfort while Johnny Laugh (played by Johnnie Casson) made his entrance looking miserable and clutching an urn full of ashes.