The story of comedian Lenny Henry’s life was brilliantly told at Theatre Severn, in Shrewsbury, in his all-singing, all-dancing new stand-up show.
Pop Life brought the house down as Henry mesmerised the three-quarters-full auditorium with Elvis impersonations, tales from Dudley’s Queen Mary discotheque and piano playing that made Les Dawson sound like Rachmaninov.
Henry is something of a national treasure, admired for his charitable work, family-friendly jokes and multi-faceted career. He’s just as happy playing Shakespeare or studying for his PhD as he is making people laugh.
In one sensationally funny routine Henry moonwalked like Michael Jackson, raved like The Shamen and ran on the spot like MC Hammer.
Pop Life is the successor to Henry’s successful Cradle To Rave show and was a joyous celebration. He told his story to an invigorating soundtrack featuring Elvis, Fats Domino, Stevie Wonder and more.
Henry’s show was polished with a Brasso-esque sheen. He rolled with the punches, riding the wave of goodwill from his Shropshire fans.
His impressions were extraordinary – his Tom Jones and Chinese Elvis among many highlights. His rat-tat-tat jokes were deserving of their rich applause, his energy levels were at Usain Bolt-esque levels and he interacted with the audience throughout. One poor woman called Barbara was the butt of many of his jokes.
The highlight came at the end, with a stunning care home mash-up featuring most of Theatre Severn’s front row, who were roped in by Henry.
Shropshire’s county town welcomed Henry with open arms; and he responded with a quick-fire, brilliantly-inventive smorgasbord of jokes, well- honed impressions and fabulous music.