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A review by Clive

Well, I thought I had seen it all over the years reporting on the escapades of the folks of London Town, but today I really did have to ask myself the question, Was I Barking?!! Had all these years taken their toll?, or was I really reporting on a 'tail' of a very different kind?!

I could have been forgiven for thinking I'd had one Alco Pup too many the night before, as I found myself confronted with the mysterious sight of those making up the queue at The London Palladium. I admit I arrived a little late, but the view from the rear was still a fascinating 'tail'!

Now I'm used to seeing the ardent fans who queue for their favourite show, and in a few weeks the Ballettes will be queuing outside this very spot eager for any returns, and we all know they flock from afar to hear Michael Ball, but was I really seeing a large group of assorted Dogs (yes Dogs!!) queuing to buy a ticket for the musical that's taking off with a Bang and a Bark in just a few short weeks time! Could this really be the new generation of Michael Ball fans?! They say it takes all sorts, and this was a wonderful assortment, young, old, long haired, short haired, and like a few Michael Ball fans I've seen in my time, they had some of the tell tale signs, tongues hanging out, even a bit of drooling going on but then came a bark, now not since I heard someone once call Michael Ball, Bolton, had I heard a bark like it!!

But just a minute, just who was barking here I asked myself, as I gave the necessary pinch to check I was not in the middle of some strange dream where Dogs had taken over the world. Why did I spot the word 'audition' on the lead sheet I had been handed from my paper, and suddenly have visions of the Bull Terrier stood behind me standing on the stage of The London Palladium dressed in a dinner jacket, cigar in hand, a newspaper under his paw acting out the scene of a lifetime to win his part?!!!

It probably is me who is barking, but they do say never work with animals, or children, and Michael Ball is about to do both, a braver man than me!! I only hope as Michael is in the middle of one his renditions during his nights on the stage of The London Palladium that he doesn't suddenly find himself looking at one of the musicians down in the orchestra pit to see a Bearded Collie looking up at him playing a trumpet, that's when he will ask the question I was asking too!!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is going to be the must see show of 2002!
Previews from 19th March, and the world premiere on 16th April!