The Rat Pack: New Theatre, Cardiff

March 21, 2018 by

The legendary Rat Pack were unique in many ways. They were each incredibly talented and they developed a wonderful rapport when they worked and partied together.

They were also renowned for their wise-cracking impromptu performances at Las Vegas where anything was likely to happen and where other celebrities flew in to be part of the action.

They also had the unique distinction of guiding public opinions on music, fashion and even politics in America.

While this show is purely a figment of the imagination of the creator it succeeded in painting a picture of the sort of thing which happened twice nightly at the Sands Hotel when they got together.

To come up with performers who could match the original is extremely difficult but in this show they have succeeded.

The obvious hit of the show is Garrett Phillips the County Galway actor and singer whose voice has that edge which was so distinctive with Sinatra.

His delivery is near perfect and he performs some of Sinatra’s greatest hits with style and commitment. He was particularly impressive with My Way which bring the performance to the perfect close.

Sammy Davis Jr is played by David Hayes who works hard perfecting the many mannerisms displayed by the entertainer while vocally getting very close to the man himself. Even Sammy Davis Jr himself recognised how close he was to the maestro.

Dean Martin was played by Nigel Casey. While he did not have quite the same quality of voice as Martin – he lacked that deep smooth baritone sound – he made up for it with a near perfect acting performance demonstrating his reputation for alcohol and women.

The second half introduction of Ella Fitzgerald played by Nicola Emmanuelle brought a different dimension to the show.

Recognised as the first lady of jazz she was a friend of the Rat Pack, revered by Sinatra and she often performed in Vegas herself. It was not just a celebration of her music but also a brief relief in some ways from the clowning of the three legends.

Bur it was the song list which marks this show as something special. Many of the greatest songs of the era are included, songs like My Kinda Town, You Make Me Feel So Young, Mr Bojangles, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, The Lady is a Tramp and you go on with no less than 30 top hits in the two hour performance.

Although this is an imaginary concert it clearly demonstrates what life was like when these three talented performers got together.

The show continues at the theatre for the rest of the week.



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