The Rat Pack at Watford Colosseum****

Visitors to Watford's Colosseum were transported to Las Vegas as the venue was turned into the Strip's Sands Hotel when the Rat Pack came to town last week.

Featuring Chris Mann as Frank Sinatra, Nigel Casey as Dean Martin and George Long as Sammy Davis Jnr, the hit West End musical was given a festive twist known as Christmas with the Rat Pack.

The audience were treated to some of the trio's best known tunes - New York New York, Come Fly With Me, Mr Bojangles and That's Amore to name but a few - all interspersed with some seasonal favourites such as Baby It's Cold Outside and White Christmas.

It's not as if all those great numbers were not enough to get us in the party mood, but to add to the fun the show was peppered with humourous exchanges between Ol' Blue Eyes, Dino and Smokey.

While the relentless banter between the trio provided countless laughs, it was undoubtedly Casey's portrayal of a progressively inebriated Martin that stole the non-musical element of the show.

The Pack, more than ably accompanied by backing group the Burelli sisters and sing band, really did give us a sense of what it might have been like to be there back in their sixties heyday.

For me, the only downside is the Christmas songs, as enjoyable and appropriate as they were, meant other favourites simply had to be left out, and for that reason I for one hope the original version of the show - Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas - can pay a visit to the Colosseum in the very near future.

Hywel Jones

The Rat pack comes to the Beck Theatre, Hayes on Saturday, January 14 at 7.30pm. Details: 020 8561 8371

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