All the Fun Of The Fair was perhaps one of David Essex most outstanding songs featured on his 1978 Greatest Hits collection The David Essex Album. The track lush with swirling noises and references to fairground rides had a defining presence that seemed to tell a story all of its own.
That story has now been realised in a touring production based on a book by Jon Conway featuring a selection of David Essex hits complete with fairground horses, dodgems, colourful lights and a twist in the tale.
Narrated by fortune-teller Rosa (Louise English) All The Fun Of The Fair tells the tale of fairground proprietor, recently widowed Levi (David Essex) who has a strained relationship with his teenage son Jack (Rob Compton).
When Jack falls in love with Alice (Tanya Robb), the daughter of a local gangster Harvey (David Burrows), all hell breaks loose. As a result Jack becomes frustrated with life trapped on a fairground with his long term girlfriend Mary (Susan Hallam-Wright) and sets about running away with his new love.
The production features alternate versions of David Essex’ greatest hits performed by the ensemble cast including Hold Me Close and Gonna Make You A Star and a vaudeville routine version of Rock On.
All The Fun Of The Fair certainly seemed to appeal to the vast majority of the audience with David Essex getting plenty of screams from his female fans before even singing a note, though Susan Hallam-Wright undeniably gives an outstanding performance as the earthy dependable Mary.
The show continues to roll in the punters at Cardiff New Theatre until Saturday.