Reverend Richard Coles: Borderline National Trinket ★★★★ Shaftesbury Theatre | March 11, 2024

Reverend Richard Coles is truly one of a kind, and in this intimate evening he shares some of the memorable moments of his remarkable life. From rocker to radio presenter and finally to reverend, Coles has been through a variety of incarnations, and he recounts the high points and low points of his journey with a self-deprecating humour that keeps the audience enthralled. From touring with Madonna as one of the Communards to turning up as the new vicar in the village, Coles has a plethora of anecdotes that always prove to be amusing, and are often instructive. You can take the vicar out of the cassock, but every monologue has something of a moral. Coles presents his stories with remarkable frankness and with the well-honed skills of a practiced raconteur. The gay youth who came to London and became part of the scene, the pop star who saw his friends dying of AIDS, the reluctant acolyte discovering a religious vocation, they are all on show. Coles also shares his grief on his partner's death and the challenges faced by a gay man in the church. Never one to shy from a new experience, Coles also appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, where he claims to have performed the worst pasodoble ever seen on the show. It was great fun on this particular night to have his partner from that time, Dianne Buswell, show up to confirm his assertion. This is a cosy evening full of humour and humanity with a self-styled trinket who might be better designated a treasure.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Matt Crockett

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