Friday, 6 May 2011

Pam Ayres Assembly Hall Theatre Tunbridge Wells

Pam Ayres
Assembly Hall Theatre
Tunbridge Wells
6th May 2011

I realize that many people would rather do just about anything else rather than go to the theatre to watch a poet for two hours. I would imagine that those who admit to friends they are going to see Pam Ayres may be greeted with a certain amount of ridicule.

However for those that feel this way it is Pam who has the last laugh as her successful tour of the UK continues. At Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall she managed to do what so many others cannot and that is to fill the place.

Pam Ayres kindly supporting GOSH
I can remember at 10 years old watching Pam Ayres on Hughie Green's Opportunity Knocks in 1975 as week after week she beat so many other more traditional acts. Her distinctive 'country bumkin'  accent adding to the enjoyment of her humorous odes. An accent that some have even asked if she exaggerates - she doesn't.

In 2010 Pam passed 35 years in show business and she has made the current tour to be an event to celebrate this milestone.

She talks about her experiences during those 35 years including some fascinating details from those Opportunity Knocks days. She covers everything from the early auditions to whether that 'clapometer' was a genuine piece of equipment or whether it was all faked.

She includes some great and regularly very funny details of her appearances onboard cruise ships.Together with things that have happened to her and her family in various exotic countries as her career has taken her around the world. This is a very honest biographical presentation though and Pam has no qualms detailing how her family had a financial disaster at one point and practically lost everything.

All these details are cleverly interspersed in between her hilarious poems and they aren't just randomly inserted, they all seem to fit the script.

Talking of script she never has to look at any notes. I can imagine Pam as one of those people you'd invite round for elevenses and she'd still be chatting away at 5pm. She is just a natural talker, an interesting one at that, and that's why she fills theatres.

A true what-you-see-is-what-you-get personality. She is still hugely successful with her range of DVDs CDs, theatre appearances, cruises, numerous poetry books,  TV chat shows and a regular contributor to Radio 4's entertainment schedule.

What I also liked was the fact she said she makes notes after each venue as regards to the content used in that performance. This is so that she can endeavor not to use repeat material in the next visit to that theatre.

On top of this Pam is a huge lover of animals and has spent much of her life supporting animal charities and fostering needy animals. Her charity support even included us 'human animals' kindly helping me out with a Great Ormond Street Hospital signing on the night. (Click the image for further details on that)

All in all she just comes across as being a very pleasant entertaining lady and I look forward to some more hilarity of rhyme on her next tour.

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