Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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Chiswick Empire

Debut of Sabrina

7 July 1955 - The Stage , London (p.5)

Debut of Sabrina, Chiswick Empire

In the olden days of variety one had to have exceptional entertaining powers to be top of the bill. To-day that is of secondary importance to box-office drawing power. In this respect, from the looks of the auditorium on Monday at Chiswick, Sabrina is a successful top of the bill.

She herself must admit that her talent is limited. She became famous as a well-built dumb blonde in Arthur Askey's television programme. Like a good child, she was seen and not heard.

At Chiswick, if you strain your ears, you can just about hear her - singing in a small voice and talking in a series of mutters.
Such a person needs good presentation. She doesn't get it. She appears four times on the current bill - three times too many, despite her change of dress each time, from pink to blue, black and silver. With the young singing trio at the end, she seemed almost natural, but with veteran straight-man Dave O'Gorman she is out of place, and he even looked embarrassed about it.
With the trio - The Three Deuces - she sings "When You Get It, You Don't Want It," "Do It Again" (which she breathes into the mike), a number which this writer thinks was about TV but couldn't hear the words, and a farewell song.
On the bill are two brilliant acts, one new, one known.

The new one is that of Canada's Three Deuces, who put pep and vitality into iheir singing of such numbers as "Sh-boom," "I'm Just a Fool," "Shake. Rattle and Roll," "Unchained Melody," and "Rain, Rain." They end to whistle-applause and should be marked down as an asset to any variety hill.

Excellent Turn

Arthur Worsley is the other stand-out act. His ventriloquial prowess is second to none, his comedy routine is always funny and his timing is brilliant.

John Hanson sings powerfully and tunefully, but he doesn't seem too at home on a variety stage. He has a bad habit of holding his lapels, rather like a parson or politician, when he is singing. His repertoire includes "Top of the World," "If I Can Help Somebody," "Cherry Pink," and a Mario Lanza medley.

Dave and Joe O'Gorman and company still put over old stuff in I an amusing way; Paul Howard rushes his patter but his tricks are interesting; and Buster Fiddes and Gormy of Australia, do their best to get laughs from patter, balloon bursing and eccentric dancing.

The McLanna Twins - a blonde and a brunette - dance neatly to open both halves, and Charles Henry and his Empire Orchestra keep the show bright.

Sabrina and the Three Deuces, 1955

Sabrina poses in her dressing-room at Chiswick Empire after she made her debut in variety. With her are the Canadian singing team, the Three Deuces, who are (l. to r.) Shane Rimmer, Paul Summerfield and Barry Hamilton

Page Created: 8 Sept 2017

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