Revolting Rhymes review – Elidrissi a thrill-seeker in Coleman Porter tribute

Tributes from Ronnie Corbett, John Cleese, and Ronnie Barker are paid to Britain’s answer to Cole Porter and Peter Allen in this lively tour around the homes of his pioneering London show business comedy team. The comedians were always ready to pimp-up their songs, but the girls were not. That is to say, with the exception of Shirley Bassey (who was put through her paces when she briefly appeared with them), men were forbidden to wear sexy underwear on stage, even to complement costumes. Perhaps that means there were no “Charms, Chas & Dave” sort of hits, but Elidrissi would not tell.

Elidrissi was a Hungarian Jew who was deported to a work camp in Trieste and then died there. The funny business – based around conversation between two sharp, fast-talking lovers – was redoubtable and the cast received uniformly great reviews. “Comedy and music are so closely intertwined, and if you make them go together on the same stage, they make you a hit,” says Elidrissi, whose guided commentary contrasts vividly with the sublime garrulousness of his lyrics.

In addition to Bassey (when he returned to Britain afterwards to appear as co-host on The Lottie Conn Show) other classics performed in these reviews include The Voice of England, Eyes of Sooth and Cyrano de Bergerac.

• Until 11 August. Box office: 020-7323 5000.

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