The Tivoli Theatre is a step back in time with its decor and seating which gives it a rather lovely art deco ambience. The front of house staff were very welcoming and the bar manager was very accommodating. Refreshment prices are very reasonable considering this is a leading theatre. The theatre is an obvious asset to the town.

I have not seen the Polly Morris Band before and was very much looking forward to the show as they seem to have a very good reputation and certainly a following.  In saying that, this was a festival event rather than a Band event so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

The evening started with a message from the Town Mayor who spoke well and welcomed us all to the Tivoli and also to the festival. He was followed by Sarah Breese who engaged us and made us laugh, not all comedians do, and certainly was a fine link throughout the first half introducing acts. Sarah is obviously a professional performer. There was also another comedian, Andrew White, who gave a short spot and also made the audience laugh.

I felt the first half was very much to do with the festival and therefore included guests as well as the Polly Morris Band. One of the guests was a magician ‘The Great Baldini’ who certainly had stage presence and involved the audience, as is tradition, with some of his magic tricks. The Polly Morris Band had little to do in the first half, but what they did was warmly welcomed by the audience.  The second half, other than an introduction by Sarah Breese, was fully the Polly Morris Band.

The highlights from my point of view and my point of view only are as follows.

There was a spot involving a pianist and a policeman which was extremely well executed and very funny but also clever in its development and delivery. This is certainly a Polly Morris Band trait.

The choir song was extremely funny and well acted by all but more importantly very true to life. The poking of the conductor with his baton by a ‘random audience member’ was again so very well executed.

The female soloist who also played the piano has a very engaging voice and kept the audience attention throughout.

There were dancers at the end of the first half who again were very clever in what they did. It is too difficult to describe here but certainly worth seeing again as a perfectly timed piece of optical illusion.

The second half was very much in line with the Bands maxim ‘Expect the unexpected’ and how true that was. Violinists popping out of wheelie bins, triangle players playing one note throughout the whole of a song, a man tied to a chair, the Band dressed as Mexicans, ballerinas both perfect and funnily useless along with a story in a language that again I cannot describe here but not only made the audience think very hard but was hysterical in its delivery.

Polly Morris when solo, a very soulful voice, has very much a talent in the style of Victoria Wood and is equally as watchable. Her songs have clever lyrics with a blend of different music styles in each song. The Band play an enormous amount of different instruments and one would imagine is trained in doing so. The quieter songs can bring you to tears if you are not careful, and speak of everyday trials, triumphs and testing of one’s character.

As previously stated this was not necessarily a Polly Morris Band event. However they did play a major part and I for one would have liked to have seen more of them on the evening. The final goodbyes were considerate of all those involved in the show including backstage theatre crew and the audience. How lovely!

Some points to note; There should have been more of the female soloist and also a few more solos by Polly Morris plus more Band involvement throughout the night as a whole. Be that as it may, some of these comments are slightly unfair due to the fact it was really a festival event rather than a Band event.

I would go again, and will go again, particularly to see the Polly Morris Band perform a full evening.



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