top of page
  • Writer's pictureNeill Kovacic-Clarke


Updated: Aug 20, 2022


Pavilion Theatre - Westover Road, Bournemouth, BH1 2BU

Saturday 19th December 2020


This is a review I wrote for the Facebook page 'That'll Be The Day Fans' of which I am creator & admin.

It was written the day after they performed a socially distanced Christmas Show in Bournemouth in December 2020 which I was lucky enough to attend.

This was in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic & was the only show they performed live in front of an audience between March 2020 & August 2021.

It is written in a slightly different style to my other reviews as it is written as if speaking to fellow fans of the show, many of whom I know personally.

I wanted to share this to give an example of my early reviews before I started this blog.


Last night was a momentous night in the history of That'll Be The Day as the cast took to the stage in front of a live audience for the first time since mid march.

Due to restrictions, there were many family, friends & fans that were unable to attend the socially distanced performance, but the fully masked 350 attendees made it feel like a full house. The atmosphere was that electric.

Writer & director Trevor Payne introduced the show which began with a lovely video of 'The Snowman' which was recorded as part of the new DVD. This video features some of the TBTD children with their mums & dads & 'Walking In The Air' is performed flawlessly by Jane Watkins. It was lovely for the fans to see Jane who was not on the stage last night as she has just left the company as she is expecting a baby which is due very soon.

After the video, the band leaped into action to get us in the Christmas spirit with their overture & as soon as the frontline entered the stage, the audience went wild & the party really started as they sang a rock & roll Christmas medley.

A stalwart of the Christmas Show every year is the 'Juke Box Jury' section which is a great kick start to the show. Three great songs were chosen which was closed by Jarrod Loughlin & Ollie Gray giving an absolutely stunning rendition of 'Like Strangers' by The Everly Brothers.

Back for one night only in place of Jane was fan favourite Jodie Lawson. Jodie brought her usual elegance to 'The Christmas Song' & 'All Alone On Christmas' (looking absolutely gorgeous) as well as a truly emotional rendition of 'Going Back' supported by Phil Hollander on keys. The infamous collection of images shown during the song have now been updated with Jodie & Ollie's beautiful children Jackson & Everly.

Gary Anderson was on great form as Harold Steptoe (don't change the script!) & we were treated to some smooth performances of 'Lonely This Christmas' & 'Come On Over' as well as the triumphant return of character Alfie Pillock singing 'Nessun Dorma'.

Boss man Trevor is the perfect comedy partner for Gary & the audience always loves their double act. Trevor also had the audience swaying & singing along to 'White Christmas' & 'Mistletoe & Wine'.

Nikki Renee Hechavarria was on top form & used her powerful instrument to bring us two classics from Darlene Love 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' & 'Marshmallow World'. She also led the company in a festive tribute to Boney M culminating with 'Mary's Boy Child'.

Jarrod Loughlin stretched his crooner vocal chords to bring us 'It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas' as well as performing 'From Russia With Love' in a moving tribute to the late Sir Sean Connery.

Ollie Gray led the band to a festive medley of hits from The Shadows as well as 'Jingle Banjos' & 'Must Be Santa'. He also treated us to his bluesy version of 'Please Come Home For Christmas'.

Mark Street also came out from behind his drums to give us his rendition of 'Holly Jolly Christmas' & Clive Fishlock's versatility was shown off to its fullest with his huge array of instruments, his Russian dancing skills (yes really!) & his singing talent.

We were also treated to a guest appearance by TBTD founder cast member Julia Greenham who looked elegant as ever & performed her rendition of 'Santa Baby'.

The eagle eyed amongst you may have also spotted former cast members Katie Lawson (Jodie's sister) & Kate Gray (Ollie's mum) in the audience!

By the finale emotions were running high & you could really see how much this meant to every member of the cast.

This was a very different production than we're used to. The show ran for two hours with no interval & the audience kept their masks on for the whole performance. We did have a socially distanced boogie at the end though!

There was obviously no collection at the end, we were straight out of the theatre & Caroline & the One Knight Only Merchandise team were out in the car park!

Thank you so much to Trevor & the entire cast & phenomenal crew for all your hard work in putting this show together. This was about more than making money. This experience was so good for the mental health of the cast & fans alike & I'm getting emotional as I write this. This was the perfect end to 2020.

For those of us that was there, it was truly an experience we will never forget. Special shout out to all the fans who were unable to attend for many reasons. I think we cheered enough for all of you!

Fingers crossed that That'll Be The Day will be able to return to theatres around the country very soon.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my fellow fans a very Merry Christmas & a happy & healthy New Year.

Stay safe & I look forward to seeing lots of you next year.

Neill Kovacic-Clarke

Please note: all views are my own & I pride myself on being honest & free from influence.

28 views0 comments
bottom of page