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Ole' blue-eyes packs em in

PUBLISHED: 10:23 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:16 11 August 2010

THE TRULY amazing Sinatra Live seen at the London Palladium last year was at Southend s Cliffs Pavilion for a full six days last week and really pulled in the crowds for near capacity performances. Technically it was astounding as a mixture of live dance

THE TRULY amazing Sinatra Live seen at the London Palladium last year was at Southend's Cliffs Pavilion for a full six days last week and really pulled in the crowds for near capacity performances.

Technically it was astounding as a mixture of live dance and song routines, a superb 18 piece on stage swing band led by musical director Simon Beck and moving projection screens varying in size from full size stage width to twice life size, told the story of Sinatra's life with him in most cases narrating his story singing all his great hits.

I would not have believed that it was possible for a big stage musical to be led by an image on a screen but that is just what happened with Frank getting a standing ovation on its first night in Southend.

The quality of the sound was as equally amazing with the live action and big band live music perfectly balanced against the moving image sound, which was enhanced to provide an almost unbelievable clarity.

The 10 strong dance and singing ensemble were all of the highest standard while the orchestra played the swing music of all the great Sinatra hits with outstanding quality and seemed just as much at home as the Dorsey Orchestra or the Count Basie outfit.

The whole atmosphere of the life of Sinatra was summed up by his great number I'm Gonna to Live 'til I Die and Nancy Sinatra's comment on him that "If he loved you that was it. He loved you through and through, forever. There would be no change in that."

Friends ranging from Sammy Davies and the other members of the Rat Pack to John F. Kennedy were equally for life and previously unseen footage from the past revealed a lot more about Sinatra the man, who was equally tough about his enemies.

The production team of 43 made the show work and is surely one of the largest for any touring show in the UK.

This Sinatra is a great show that is only visiting a very limited number of theatres and is just another example of the fact that Southend's Cliffs Pavilion is now rated as one of the top provincial venues in Britain.


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