No dummy run for funny ventriloquist Steve!
Comedy ventriloquist Steve Hewlett’s last trip to Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion was certainly memorable. While he was delivering rib-ticklers, his wife was getting ready to deliver their daughter.
“I was on edge the whole time I was on stage, the day after we finished there my daughter was born. I’ll never forget Felixstowe in that respect,” he laughs.
Steve has performed on theatre stages and cruise ships around the world, TV, radio and the cabaret circuit. He’s also worked with Ken Dodd for the last four years, as well as the likes of Omid Djalili, Steven K Amos and more comedians than you can shake a puppet at.
He’s back at the Spa this month after his headline performance in Seaside Special.
Steve is going to be joined by his song diva - his words, not mine - wife Nina, beatboxer Lee Gibling, dancers and close-up magician Magic Catherine who’ll be performing in the foyer before the show and during the interval.
Audiences will meet Pongo the skunk, a very cheeky puppet given to Steve by Keith Harris of Orville fame about 20 years ago; old whinger Arfur Lager and little girl Tiny Tina.
“I’ve got this brand new character called Jackson Jay who’s actually the first ventriloquist dummy to dance on stage and I do a new thing where I turn a member of the audience into a ventriloquist.
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“They get a lesson on stage and it’s kind of amusing for a kid’s dad to try to get up and do what I do within five minutes.”
This is Steve’s 25th year as a ventriloquist.
He started when he was 12 courtesy of Jimmy Tamley, who won the grand final of the 1987 talent show New Faces; beating Joe Pasquale into second place by two points.
“He lived down the road from me. I knocked on his door after he won that very show and asked if he’d teach me. I then became his roadie for ten years which was my apprenticeship. Aged 22, which was 15 years ago, I turned professional so this is my 15th professional year.”
Steve is also the latest star to throw his weight behind the Ipswich Star’s Save Our Spa campaign.
“It’s really sad to hear [it’s at risk]. I think it’s really important for the younger generation to have something to be proud of in their town. Every time I’ve had conversations with comedians and acts they tell me of summer seasons they used to do there. Now I’ve had two or three nights there and it would be a shame to lose something I think that’s really special to Felixstowe.”
Steve Hewlett - Voices of Variety, comes to Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion on Saturday, February 18.