Doroth Paul Kings Theatre Edinburgh 2014




Dorothy Paul has (as she reminds her audience often in this show) been performing live comedy and theatre for nearly 60 years, and it should come as no surprise to anyone that many in her audience have been following her career for a large part (if not all) of this time.  There is a rapport between Dorothy Paul and her audience that few stage performers ever manage to achieve.  Quite simply, her audience treats her more like an old friend that they have met in an informal setting than a performer on a stage.

The first half of the show is classic Dorothy Paul at her best as she is making fun of growing older and of remembering days gone by.  Judging by the laughter from much of the audience tonight, both of these themes struck a common chord with performer and audience.

The second half of the show was pretty much devoted to a sit down question and answer session with Lyn McAndrew  reading out questions from the audience.  All of the questions were of course answered by Dorothy in her own humorous style and her audience seemed to enjoy for the most this trip down memory lane with her.  I have to admit that for me, the second half of the show did not work as well as the first half of the show.  The Q & A session slowed the pace of the evening down a little and Dorothy Paul is at her best in the format of the first half of the show.

This is a new show from Dorothy Paul, but it is still very much rooted in the traditional Scottish variety show format. As well as the lady herself, we have piano (and some vocals) from John Crawford and muscial numbers from a three girl singing group called "Lah Dee Dah".  You pretty much know what you are going to get from a Dorothy Paul show, and that is an evening of entertainment that you can take a family audience to knowing that on stage is someone who knows her craft well enough to entertain an audience without having to use bad language or offensive humour.  This show does what a traditional variety show should do, and that is it lets an audience forget whatever worries they may have for a while (if they have any) and entertains them for the evening.

Few performers get into the hearts of an audience over a long career the way that Dorothy Paul has managed to do and when the day comes that Dorothy Paul decides not to be on stage any longer, then an important chapter in the history of Scotthish variety theatre closes with her  too.


Review by Tom King


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