Sid and Valerie
Old time vaudevillian, tap dancer and acrobat, Sid Lester helped make Variety great and now he wants one last shot. The death of his wife and long-time dance partner has forced Sid to reconcile with his resentful but aspirational daughter Valerie to create a new double act. Sid wants to be back where he belongs: top of the bill, name in lights, conductor and constructor of his own universe, and will do whatever it takes.
Sid and Valerie conjure an evening of entertainment that draws on the performance traditions of 'Summertime Specials' and 'The Good Old Days' with a script that provides "a skewed and disturbing sideways glance at mid-20th-century British life, and its ever-cheerful showbiz culture" (Joyce MacMillan The Scotsman). This in addition to proffered toffees, talking birds, trilling vocals, balloons, impersonations, nifty footwork, acrobatics, old school patter, a shuffle-step-hop, interactive games and recognizable family dynamics.
The Sid Lester Christmas Special has become a fixture in the seasonal calendar. The evening is curated with invitations extended to contemporary performers to do a turn and perform an act based on a either a long-forgotten or newly learnt skill... These performances are seamlessly entwined with a script that meditates on grief and familial relations. The performance reaches a crescendo of audience participation (and joy) with a brass-band-accompanied sing-along of Christmas songs and carols.
Conceptualised by Sue MacLaine and co-created with Emma Kilbey. Films by Joe Murray.