Brighton Fringe 2010
All that I was/All that I am
Venue: Pavillion Theatre
Festival: Brighton Fringe
This is a beautifully written one-woman show about the life of Sid Lester, an ex-Vaudevillian performer who revisits highlights of his past shows and loving memories of his late wife, featuring slapstick routines and tap dancing.
The show began with Sid Lester, a little old man played by Sue MacLaine, shuffling onstage and giving out sweets to the audience. At the same time a deaf signer came on stage, and Sid, in raincoat and flat cap, gave him a sweet too and signed his name to the audience. In stand- up style, Sid spoke to the audience and interacted in various ways such as getting a volunteer to switch on his ghetto blaster.
In his old-school manner, ‘he’ slapped the volunteer on her bottom and addressed her as ‘darlin’. The show then continued with a series of little acts from Sid – a slow and balletic dance with his shopping trolley, some reminiscences about venues he’d played such as the Glasgow Empire (no turn unstoned!) and various showbiz stories interspersed with memories about the life he and his wife Flo had shared together.
He occasionally repeated himself and was forgetful, which increased the poignancy of the old man’s character. There were comedy dance routines, mentions of other acts he had worked with (Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Trinder) and tales from his youth, interspersed with glimpses of Sid’s present life and his unhappy relationship with his daughter.