(Dominic Cavendish’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 7/26.)

Flash, Bang, Wallop! What a turn-up for the books! Half a Sixpence, the larky musical that catapulted Tommy Steele into a different showbiz league over half a century ago, has been enhanced, re-sized, had all its blemishes removed and now looks pretty close to perfection. Someone – producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, surely, who has had a close hand in this revival – should stick it pronto in the West End, where it hasn’t been seen since its initial 1963 run. 

Take a bow Julian Fellowes – he of Downton Abbey fame – who has done a sterling job scripting a new book, finding richer dramatic pickings in the 1905 HG Wells novel “Kipps”, and re-organising the story so that it no longer seems a broken-backed affair on stage. A bouquet apiece for composer George Stiles and lyricist Anthony Drewe who have diligently buffed-up David Heneker’s charming-catchy numbers and brilliantly supplemented them at every turn. 



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