Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 26 Feb–Sat 1 Mar
If light entertainment is your bag, then you can’t beat a tried and tested classic. Hello, Dolly!, first performed in 1964, is the kind of bright and breezy musical that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The new touring production features ex-Eastender Anita Dobson and seasoned entertainer Darren Day.
‘Most of the shows in my career – Joseph, The Rocky Horror Show, Grease – were already up and running when I went into them,’ says Day. ‘What was attractive about this was that I knew it would be the first time people would be seeing it in 20 years.’
A tale of matchmaking shenanigans, Day attributes the show’s appeal to the strength of its music and lyrics, but also its sense of fun. ‘Hello, Dolly! is the epitome of musical theatre and a great, feel-good show. When I’ve done shows like this before, journalists have said there’s no depth to it, but I think sometimes in the world we live in it’s good to have a little bit of escapism for a couple of hours.’
So, does Day, now a veteran of the musical stage, ever tire of the lights and greasepaint? ‘I’m in a very different place in my head then when I last did a long tour, and I’m really looking forward it,’ he says. ‘I’m a daddy now and that makes all the difference in life. I think sometimes in the old days I didn’t put everything I had into every performance, I walked through a few shows for whatever reason, but with this I am very much in the mindset that every single audience that comes in deserves a first night performance.’ With a full live orchestra and big production budget, Hello, Dolly! looks set to be polished family fun. Swell.