Respect La Diva

This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows

Previewed 7 September 2011, Opened 8 September 2011, Closed 24 September 2011 at the Garrick Theatre in London

The entertaining and uplifting musical celebration Respect La Diva in London, paying tribute to some of the greatest female singers of all-time. Featuring a cast of amazingly talented West End singers and dancers with a stunning live band, Respect La Diva features some 30 classic songs made famous by such diva greats as Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Etta James, Shirley Bassey, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé and Dusty Springfield.

Respect La Diva is hosted by X-Factor finalist Andy Abrahams, and features Sheila Ferguson from The Three Degrees, Denise Pearson from Five Star, Katy Setterfield from The One & Only and Zoe Birkett from Pop Idol. Respect La Diva is conceived and directed by Adrian Grant - the creator of the show Thriller Live currently playing at the Lyric Theatre - choreography is by Racky Plews, with designs by Jonathan Park, costumes by Stewart Charlesworth, lighting by Paul Moorehouse and sound by Phillip Cluskey. Sheila Ferguson's London theatre credits include the musical Always (Victoria Palace Theatre in 1997).

"This is one of those whoop-along tribute shows much beloved of hen parties and girls' nights out... Complete with seven-strong band, swirling dancers and a backing group of huge energy, Respect doffs its rockin' cap to such fantastic singers as Judy Garland, Dusty Springfield, Madonna and Aretha Franklin, among others. Sheila Ferguson is a powerhouse of energy and incredible projection in her tribute to Diana Ross and Tina Turner. Katy Setterfield brings us a sound-and-lookalike Dusty Springfield and Zoe Birkett is remarkable in Etta James's memorable At Last. The energy expended on stage is enough to light up a small town and it helps to create a happy and at times wild atmosphere... However, as so often with retro shows, there is a nagging touch of the has-been about it. An hour into the show one is struck by a sense of "been there, heard it all before". The early sheen wears off and diva fatigue sets in." The Daily Express

"To be frank, Respect La Diva, a tribute to great female vocalists ranging from Aretha Franklin to Madonna and Beyonce, is the kind of show you might expect to see on the end of a pier in Blackpool or at a holiday camp in Skegness... yet what's undeniably touching about the show is that the performers work their socks off throughout the evening, singing with real power and passion... The script may be corny, and the arrangements for the onstage band are bigger on volume than musical subtlety. But you do get a collection of great songs for women singers... Katy Setterfield offers some splendid Dusty Springfield numbers, Zoe Birkett scales the heights in Etta James's glorious At Last, Sheila Ferguson makes an excellent Diana Ross and Tina Turner and Denise Pearson brings a touch of real beauty and style to the proceedings. As well as offering a fun girls' night out, the show is also trying to raise awareness - and money - for Refuge, the charity for victims of domestic violence. This may not be a great night of musical theatre - but its heart's in the right place." The Daily Telegraph

"This compendium of anthemic hits made famous by female artists from Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield through to Alicia Keys and Beyoncé was put together by the producer and director Adrian Grant, who created the Michael Jackson tribute show, Thriller Live. Predictably, tinsel triumphs over taste, with music over-amplified until it hurts, blinding flashing lights and eye-poppingly hideous costumes... The singing is mostly technically sound, but bludgeoning, leatherlunged bombast obliterates any emotional connection or melodic charm... There's probably an audience for it, hopped up on hysteria and happy-hour cocktails. But it's as gaudy and hollow as a glitterball." The Times

Respect La Diva in London at the Garrick Theatre previewed from 7 September 2011, opened on 8 September 2011 and closed on 24 September 2011.