Reviewed by Bernadette Booth
We arrived at The Lowry at 18:15 hours and parked at our now favourite (and cheap) car park at Labrador Quay opposite Premier Inn (£3 for 12 hours). With this being a very small car park, we had a backup plan of parking at The Lowry Outlet car park which is £6 for 9 hours if pre-booked.
When we got to the theatre we found the staff very helpful.
We took our seats, not quite knowing what to expect. The set was very basic, a piano, a small coffee table and Parky’s two familiar leather chairs. Behind the chairs there was a huge screen.
Michael Parkinson came on stage followed by his producer/youngest son, to the famous Parkinson TV Show theme tune. Parky then chatted with his son, telling the audience the fascinating story of his long and illustrious career and the soundtrack that has accompanied it. Almost every anecdote was followed by glorious footage of interviews and musical performances by a raft of stars.
Parky told us how he started his TV career in 1963 in Manchester, with the famous talk shows starting in 1971… highlights included him meeting and talking to Georgie Best, the Beatles and Mick Jagger.
Jazz music has played a huge part in Parky’s life and career, we saw footage of amazing performers such as Buddy Rich, Duke Ellington and Dudley Moore to name but a few.
The show was enhanced by several live performances by singer/pianist/composer Joe Stilgoe (son of Richard, for those old enough to remember “That’s Life”.
The first half of the show flew by, during the interval we had time to explore other areas of the stunning Lowry.
The second half of the show was equally gripping, and we were left wanting more.
To sum up, this was a brilliant show and well worth seeing. We did not realise what an interesting and colourful story Sir Michael Parkinson had to share. He has certainly come a long way from his humble beginnings, but he hasn’t forgotten his Yorkshire roots. That’s why he’s loved by us all. Truly magnificent.
We’d give this a show a tumultuous 5 out of 5.
P.S. Look out for Sir Elton John improvising… we’ll say no more!
For other shows The Lowry in Manchester visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000