Looking For Me Friend: The Music of Victoria Wood, writer and performer Paulus’s celebration of the music of the late comedy genius and national treasure, is extending its tour of theatres and cabaret venues, with shows now on sale until May 2023.
Following an Autumn tour and an acclaimed run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2022, the nostalgic evening of entertainment heads to The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham (14 Jan), The Old Courts, Wigan (18 Jan), Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax (19 Jan), Chichester Festival Theatre, Minerva Theatre (20 Jan), The Albany Theatre, Coventry (21 Jan), Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London (22 Jan), The Electric Theatre, Guildford (28 Jan), Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury (3 Feb), Aberystwyth Arts Centre (7 Feb), The Theatre Chipping Norton (9 Feb), Saltburn Arts Centre, Saltburn-By-The-Sea (10 Feb), The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol (14 Feb), Cheltenham Town Hall (16 Feb), Haverhill Arts Centre (17 Feb), Sonata Piano & Cabaret Lounge, Manchester (19 Feb), Salisbury Arts Centre (25 Feb), Theatre@41, York (26 Feb), The Studio, Bradford (4 Mar), Crazy Coqs, London (5 Mar), The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich (7 Mar), Waterside, Sale (9 Mar), Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (11 Mar), The Town and Gown, Cambridge (18 Mar), Beccles Public Hall & Theatre (13 Apr), Corn Exchange, Newbury (21 April), Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre, London (11-13 May), Norman Bragg Studio, Aylesbury (18 May) and Epstein Theatre, Liverpool (20 May).
Written and performed by Paulus (BBC1’s All Together Now and ‘King of Cabaret’ The Stage), and directed by multi-award-winning cabaret artist Sarah-Louise Young, the show is filled with love, laughter and fabulous memories for Victoria Wood fans as well as the ultimate ‘beginner’s guide’ for audiences new to her work.
Many of Victoria’s best-loved songs through the decades are featured including ‘It Would Never Have Worked’, ‘Reincarnation’ and, of course, the classic ‘Ballad of Barry & Freda (Let’s Do It)’, as well as some of her lesser-known and more poignant compositions.
The highly acclaimed Musical Director Michael Roulston* joins Paulus on stage, proving what many have known for decades: that it takes two men to do the work of one woman – half as well! (*an alternate MD plays certain performances).
Looking For Me Friend: The Music of Victoria Wood is written and performed by Paulus, ‘The Cabaret Geek’, who is an entertainer and educator specialising in cabaret. Best known for his appearances on BBC1’s All Together Now as a talent judge, his musical tribute to Victoria Wood premièred in London in 2020. For fifteen years, Paulus had close ties to the cult London cabaret venue The Battersea Barge, producing many cabarets for them including the hugely successful talent contest Cheese ‘n’ Crackers, Diva Nite and their annual adult pantomimes.
For ten years, Paulus ran the entertainment agency Excess All Areas (formerly Better Chemistry) and under this banner, he spearheaded the annual Cabaret Convention and London Cabaret Awards. His expertise has been sought to judge many talent competitions including National Burlesque Awards, Drag Idol for Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Pride’s Got Talent, Musical Comedy Awards and Burlesque Idol at The Hippodrome Casino.
If I’m honest, I think that this show would sit perfectly in the London Palladium on a Sunday night, where the royalty of variety and cabaret rightly belong. The Ballad of Victoria Wood and Paul L Martin – “Let’s do it!”
Review by Faye Stockley