With working men’s clubs disappearing and pubs being boarded up across the region, what hope have fledgling entertainers got of being discovered at grassroots level?
Bitter-sweet musical comedy Satin ‘n’ Steel strikes a chord this week in Chesterfield with its tale of two lonely singers united by their love of music and dreams of escaping their Rainworth club base and the pub circuit of Clowne, Leabrooks and Kirkby.
This two-hander focuses on a time-served club singer who has been around the block a few times, has all the patter and moves but not the star potential and his discovery, a talent competition runner-up who has got what it takes to hit the big time but needs the lucky break.
With their star in the ascendancy and better gigs beckoning, their private lives fall into disarray as she loses her mum, he loses his partner and they both lose trust in each other.
Tom Roberts of Emmerdale fane and Kilke John put on a good show as the singers Vince and Teena, raising plenty of laughs as they perform an act which included dodgy disco moves, wacky wigs and goofy glasses in the first half.
The curtain rises on sharply-dressed smooth operators in the second half, where the tunesome twosome win the hearts of the audience with beautifully performed duets such as Islands in the Stream and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.
This creation from the pen of Amanda Whittington is a prime example of showbiz being a cruel master who tests loyalty, has no time for sentiment and drops his playmate when the next wide-eyed ingenue comes tapping at his door.
Satin ‘n’ Steel will be staged for a second night at the Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield, on Tuesday, June 30, at 7.30pm.