Ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for! The spectacular show of all shows, The Greatest Show on The Tyne, returned again this year for the 3rd year in a row directed and hosted by, the man himself, Chris Cross the magician!
I was kindly invited along by Chris Cross on Friday 2nd November to attend the show, which I’ve heard so much about, so needless to say I was very much looking forward to it. The event took place at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House and to say I used to live, quite literally, a stones throw away from the venue this was a first for me as i've never been before.
The Greatest Show on the Tyne has been described as Newcastle’s answer to Saturday Night at The Palladium, big shoes to fill some of you may say but those shoes where certainly filled to say the least! We were told to expect an evening of dazzling performances from local and national stars of variety. From magician’s to comedians, acrobats, jugglers, singers, dancers, circus acts to name just a small few.
The show began just after 7pm and ran until 11pm. You may think this is quite a long performance however there was an interval between and you were so spoilt for choice with the performances that the time went over way too quickly in my eyes! The show opened in true Chris Cross style with him travelling on to the stage on a carriage being pulled by Marley The Wonder Horse, yes a real life pony in the middle of the stage of The Tyne Theatre and Opera House.
One thing I didn’t realise, which is worth bearing in mind, was that children were allowed to come along to the show so I’ll certainly be bringing my son next year as he would absolutely love coming to a show like this, there is something for everyone and of all ages. The show was packed out and was filled with some true Geordie legends; Chris Beattie from cult Geordie film “Purely Belter,” Co-Founder of Viz magazine Simon Donald, Lesley Saint John from Auf Wiedersehn Pet, North East Comic Bobby Pattinson, not to mention the Lord Major of Newcastle David Brown and Triple Paralympic Champion Stephen James Miller M.B.E.
I’ve been trying to decide which acts where my favourite but in all honestly, I can’t pin point just one as they where all amazing. From the outrageously whacky Steve Rawlings dubbed the UK’s most comedic juggler with that laugh (if you know, you know) to The Blues Brothers Show, a Blues Brother’s tribute act who got everyone to their feet. Then you have the more traditional magic acts such as Paul Derek, who literally made birds appear from out of midair and Destiny Magic, the first female act to win the Magic Circle Young Magician of the year. There are just so many to choose from! Check out the amazing line up below:
Cal Halbert from The Mimic Men - as seen on Britian’s Got Talent
Steve Rawlings – The UK’s most comical (and crazy, I think we’d get a long quite well) juggler, as seen on TV
The Blues Brother’s Show – A full rhythm and blues band
Junior Turner – Top vocal talent from Wallsend
Marley The Wonder Horse
The Devine Dance Troupe
Mat-E-Trick of The Brothers Swag – New Zealand circus show with hoops, hats and more
Charlie Carpenter – whip cracking and a bed of nails, with a subtle hint of strip teasing
Anna Waters – An amazing aerialist
Paul Derek – The birdman of magic who has toured with Ken Dodd’s Happiness tour
Last but not least, St Aloysius School Choir.
Lets not forget host Chris Cross now shall we. Multi award winning magician, escapologist and contortionist. Chris has entertained numerous celebrities with his magic tricks and performances, including: Tulisa of NDubz at the launch of KAZAM mobile phones. Chris Cross has previously challenged former two-time undisputed boxing Heavyweight Champion of the World, Mike Tyson, to a contest of strength where Mike Tyson had 90 seconds to tie Cross up using all of his strength, and Cross had 90 seconds to use all of his strength to make the escape, which he succeeded. In an article in NE1 Magazine he was referred to as The North-East's King of Variety; which seems rather apt considering Chris is the organiser of the North’s very own variety show. It’s no secret that Chris idolises the iconic Paul Daniel’s so it was nice to see on the evening Chris using some of Paul Daniel’s old TV magic tricks which he recently saved after them being found in a farmers barn in Wales.
As I mentioned this show has something for everyone, every tiny bit of detailing has went into ensure a pleasurable evening for all – from a couple’s night, to an evening with friends or family, you won’t be disappointed. Think 1920’s Speakeasy and Parasian Carbaret meets 1970’s Geordie Working Men’s Clubs. The show is a real throwback to the days of old fashioned Music Hall and Vaudeville entertainment in one big evening of entertainment, showcasing some of the best underground, upcoming acts, as well as established household names from The North East and corners of the UK.
Chris has also released a new book called The Geordie Book of Magic, which he most certainly has pulled the rabbit out of the hat with writing and releasing this marvelous magical book. The Geordie Book of Magic teaches dozens of North East themed magic tricks, with a foreword from Debbie McGee and illustrated by Viz Comic artist, Davey Jones. The book is suitable for all ages and comes complete with some specially printed trick cards to perform with. A DVD is included which show Chris performing and explaining all of the tricks from the book to a few local celebrities. The book is only £12 and is available to buy via his website, www.chris-cross.co.uk. Personally, it is the perfect Christmas present in my eyes and it helps support local, too which is something I am very passionate about.
Tickets for the show start from as little as £12.50 but if you’re wanting the full VIP experience why not treat yourself to the VIP seats at only £25 which guarantee you a seat at the first two rows of the stalls and include access to the after show party and an exclusive gift. Needless to say this was certainly a night to remember and I am already looking forward to next year.