Like a Glaswegian Louie Spence, Edward Reid bounds through an hour of anecdotes and musical numbers with enough campness and glitter to make you think you’ve accidentally stumbled into La Cage aux Folles. 2011 Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Reid made his name with his jazzed up renditions of favourite nursery rhymes. This show is intended to be a whistle-stop tour of Reid’s life punctuated by songs of his choosing.
For anyone wishing to see more clever reimaginings of old favourites, you will unfortunately be disappointed but Reid’s performances of camp classics and musical showstoppers should be enough to keep you sated for the hour.
Unfortunately, the whole show can’t help but feel like an extended director’s cut of the notorious sob stories present in so many reality TV programmes. Reid has been through an awful lot in his life, but to dredge up so much heartache in such a short time feels contrived and manipulative. The show is also devoid of flow and skips about from devastating anecdotes to silly, flamboyant numbers. Not only does this make the show lose composure but the sadder moments lose poignancy and feel hamfisted as a result. Reid does have a charming and infectious personality but the emotional interjections between songs often feel insincere.
Undoubtedly the most impressive parts of the performance are Reid’s songs. His voice is not perfect but has a beautiful, soulful tone to it and his dexterity is truly impressive. He does well at every song he is faced with, from musical numbers to soulful ballads and even a splash of Tina Turner.
This show is very entertaining and I imagine more so if you are a follower or fan of Reid from his days on Britain’s Got Talent. I just can’t help but feel that the show doesn’t need his life story behind it as it clouds the music and gives it an unnecessary emotional agenda. Reid’s talent alone would have been enough to make a strong, entertaining and powerful performance without the peripheral and superfluous anecdotes.