If you enjoy a show with plenty of song and dance, comedy and sparkling costumes this is the show for you.

Barry Manilow’s famous musical comes to life thanks to the excellent performances of Julian Richards, Kathryn Painter, Georgie Taylor, Chris Paine, Zoe Darks and Dave Clarke. You will meet Stephen, who really ignores his wife, Samantha while he is trying to write a story. He then imagines a performance of this story, with himself and his wife as the two stars, Tony and the famous Lola of the title song.

As always Julian can be relied on to give a strong performance and I especially enjoyed his version of Sweet Heaven, which is probably the only other familiar song in the show. Kathryn is always a delight to see and hear and does not disappoint here, and Georgie makes an impressive debut for the company.

Zoe Darks gives what I consider her best performance yet, as Conchita – a diverse character which she brought about to perfection, showing such emotion, especially when she was insulted (and hit) by the irrepressible Dave (as Rico Castelli)! He has such a stage presence, you cannot take your eyes off him when he is on and here he proves he can play the ‘baddie’ equally as well as the usual likeable character.

Among other musical highlights was Chris’s rendition of Who am I Kidding?, Zoe’s performance of Havana/Caramba and the spectacular finale.

This was altogether an excellent working of Copa and I thought it was a better production of this lesser-known musical than the professional version I saw some years ago.


By Von Stewart