LADIES and Gentlemen, sit back and relax…or sit forward and be uncomfortable, the multi-talented Brian Conley returns to the stage in Salford in his all new touring show, ‘Alive and Dangerous’. Molly Jacobsen reviews a fun filled night for all to watch…

For most of the audience Conley has been a household name from the late 80s, so this show was a perfect throwback to the happier times, some may say. The laughs started as the show opened, with a video that showed us some of his life achievements from starting right at the beginning with Brian Conley: This Way Up.

A ripple of applause started as the mischievous smiling Brian Conley entered the stage. He splits the show between a dash of comedy and some well-known songs such as ‘Swanee’ from the show Jolson and more famously, ‘Reviewing the Situation’ from Oliver. Which is when he got the opportunity to, in his words, play the most famous character in stage history, Fagin. Not quite a medley but not quite enough of each to make it a proper concert. This was truly Conley at his very best.

In the first half of his ‘variety show’, Conley invited two audience members onto the stage. This caused a thunderous applause and many laughs from the audience, as one of them was thrown into the deep end, when Conley persuaded them to perform something that resembled the Full Monty. I wasn’t expecting to see this and neither was most of the audience by their reactions.

The first half also contained support act, Mat Ricardo. He may have been new to this audience, but he is well-known from TV chat shows and exposure elsewhere. When he first took the stage, he took the audience back to the 1930s in a dance involving juggling and tricks. This was a pleasant surprise as it felt like we had been transported to a variety show, something that the queen herself would enjoy.

When taking a break to catch his breath, Ricardo came back on stage with another act; this time magic! This again was a pleasant surprise for the audience.

Back for part two and the fast-talking, wise-cracking television comedian has the crowd in stitches.

This show definitely isn’t for the easily offended and light-hearted as the cheeky-chappy filled his show with uncountable innuendos and swearing. Conley, is to many a true showman, who has that rare ability to get each audience member in the palm of his hand and make each one of them feel like his friend. Sharing jokes and containing lots of audience interaction, I sure felt like Conley was an old friend who I was catching up with.

Add fire eating, audience singing, an audience member or two up on stage and some unspeakable naughtiness and you have the recipe for a great night out!

That’s all folks but remember – IT’S A PUPPET!

By Molly Jacobsen

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