We all had a bostin' time as Doreen brought to life all our favourite aspects of the Black Country in her Grand Night Out.
From working men's clubs to Steve Bull, the Dudley Eye to spiritualism, Doreen gave us everything we love and more in a performance which was not only based on the stereotypes of her Black Country audience, but involved them too.
Performing at the Grand Theatre last night, Doreen delivered a variety of unique characters, sat in her humongous deck chair, as well as her usual velveteen armchair, complete with cat-skin lampshade. As newsreader Nadrine Hadranakasakawala she revealed her views on the latest addition to Tipton - the Tipton eye, aka 'a bicycle wheel shot in close up'. As opera singer Titiana, she wowed with her version of Nessun Dorma, though the character had Tourette Syndrome. As Carla O'Toole from Cannock she delivered a belter of a traditional Irish folk song entitled 'I'm a Black Country Girl', with a more than slightly unexpected chorus that got the packed-out audience singing along.
Doreen even managed get seven members of the audience up on stage to help deliver her satirical version of the Von Trapp family song. A hilarious lecture on the pros and cons of alcohol was also well received: "Working Men's Clubs provided a valuable social service. When you're from the Black Country it helps if you're off your head," she said.
A selection of comedic videos were played throughout the night to complement the performance, with Doreen appearing in her own version of Downton Abbey, The Simpsons and Star Wars. The show seemed to take its inspiration from the variety performances of comedians Billy Connolly and Joe Pasquale but with a typically Black Country twist - of making something polished and well written appear like it was something thrown together by a Lazy Cow. Something, I think that both Gill Jordan and writer David Tristram should be proud of.
A plug for Doreen's own online TV channel was well received too, suggesting that this comedienne is certainly one to watch "online, on yow tablet, mobile phone, or even through Faceache," she said, with her mixture of satirical stand-up music and surprises following the success of her feature film which saw cameos from West Midlands' legends Steve Bull and Robert Plant.
Doreen's show returns to the Grand tonight, but the show has now sold out.
Her Grand Night Out show is next at Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield, but those shows have also sold out. There are, however, still tickets available at her shows at the following venues:
September 22 - Palace Theatre, Redditch
September 30 - Rose Theatre, Kidderminster
October 1 - Red Rose Theatre, Rugeley
October 7 and 8 - Netherton Arts Centre
The actress is also due to appear as the Lazy Empress in this year's pantomime at the Grand, performing in Aladdin alongside star singer Joe McElderry who is to take the title role. She will be joined by TV presenter, former Strictly and Emmerdale star Lisa Riley in the show at the Lichfield Street theatre from December 10 to January 22.
Doreen said: "If some of you have got kids and are thinking about coming to the panto, don't worry I don't say any of this in there!"
By Jess Labhart