A memorable evening with West End star Anita Harris in Gainsborough

West End star Anita Harris put on a memorable show in Gainsborough
West End star Anita Harris put on a memorable show in Gainsborough

If Cliff Richard is regarded as the ‘Peter Pan of Pop’ then Anita Harris must be regarded as the ‘Peter Pan of Entertainment’.

Her one-woman show An Evening with Anita Harris, played at the Trinity Arts Centre in Gainsborough last weekend and proved beyond doubt what an all round entertainer she has developed into.

Her career spanning more than 50 years, began when she was spotted on a London Ice rink, before being whisked away to Las Vegas in revue, as one of The Bluebell Girls.

There she saw many of the big stars playing ‘the strip’, when in was in its infancy, such as Frank Sinatra and Mae West on her few nights off.

Returning to London, she joined The Cliff Adams Singers to learn her trade as a chanteuse.

And the rest is history as a recording artist and all round entertainer.

She had a huge hit in 1967 with the song Just Loving You, which was given to her by Dusty Springfield when they were both appearing on Top Of The Pops, which remained in the charts for a record number of weeks.

The comedians that she has worked with reads like a ‘who’s who’ of all that is best in British comedy.

Amongst them are Harry Sercombe, Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper and Frankie Howard.

She has not restricted her career to one genre, but branched out into the Carry On films, musicals, and her Burlington Bertie is regarded by many of us as being the definitive version of male impersonator Vesta Tilley’s original.

All of the afore mentioned was cleverly woven into a chronological life story with musical accompaniment from her pianist Peter Gill.

To show that he is no slouch himself, we were treated to a moving Mr Bojangles and some fine boogie woogie playing.

The show also brought us right up to date, with a reminder that she was in Cats for two years and has, of late, turned into a fine actress.

Never one to stand still, Anita’s next project is one with Mike Margolis entitled Verity Lake from which she performed a number, before ending the show with Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and a trip down Route 66.

The show was simply staged with a black star cloth and rear projection screen depicting images of her quite amazing career and throughout she was immaculately dressed.

Like most of us she has had her share of troubles and bad luck, in the past.

But what became evident is that Anita is a survivor in this most fickle of professions.

It was a sheer joy to spend An Evening With Anita Harris.