VENTRILOQUIST Paul Zerdin has honed his craft on the live circuit for the last two decades, and his expertise was undoutbedly on show when his Puppet Master tour came to the Pavilion Theatre.
The show started with one of Zerdin's lesser known puppets, super slick voice over man Alasdair Rimmer, who quickly put the audience
in a jovial mood with his catchphrases and cheeky warnings to anyone thinking of recording the show on their mobile phone.
Pensioner and wannabe gangster rapper Albert made a bold entrance on his radio-controlled mobility scooter for a cleverly-executed song
that got the audienced singing along - with a double entendre or three thrown in for good measure.
Zerdin then made his entrance with the loveable Baby, and gave a masterclass in engaging the audience, while building up to a surprising finish
that tickled younger audience members' funnybones in particular.
Next up was support act The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue, who baffled and amused in equal measure with an act that consisted prop comedy set to
The gags came thick and fast, and several were a little blue for an audience that included many children. That said, there were a number of genuine belly
laughs to be had from the puzzling duo.
The highlight of the act was watching Zerdin create the sense of a genuine double act with "youngster" Sam, who seemingly had the "ventricly" wrapped
around his finger with his quick-fire quips and endearing persona.
Zerdin's finely-tuned script excelled in this portion of the show, and it was clear how much this talented performer was in his element.
The audience participation was also fun, but this reviewer's only complaint would be that the final section of the show - which turned audience members into
ventiloquist dummies - ran a little too long.
Overall, though, the Puppet Master offered a fantastic night out that had people of all ages howling with laughter.