05 November 2010 - 11:00
Top Gear Live: opening night review
Top Gear Live, they say, is the most ambitious, complex stage show ever. Even more spectacular than Aladdin at the Cleethorpes Pavilion. More accomplished than a Gielgud masterpiece. And more colourful than the Moulin Rouge (though with slightly fewer breasts). And after the first show in London last night, the critics backstage were unanimous in their praise of the free pizza and Peroni.
There were dancing girls, wiggling girls, astronaut girls, and girls from the future. Three blokes in crumpled shirts turned up to host it, a man in a white suit turned up to do some driving, and a motorcyclist called Dougie had a fight with a digger. But mostly, things were on fire. Entire cars. The floor. Some facial hair.
Many cars were rated on a live version of the famous Cool Wall, although the opinions of thousands of showgoers, and of Richard Hammond, were mostly overruled by Jeremy Clarkson, who, incidentally, played matchmaker when a lady in the audience proposed to a man called Wayne.
Things turned electric when the boys lined up for a drag race, using cars made entirely from domestic appliances. Ever wondered what James May looks like inside a washing machine? Have a click through the gallery and see for yourself. Check out the car football too, which is back this year, on a budget. With less wheels. And less rules.
The show continues at Earls Court today and tomorrow, with three live performances per day. And it can surely only get better, with the traditional gaffs and guffs of the opening night out of the way. Then it's onwards around the world, as the Top Gear circus moves to Birmingham, Dublin, Brisbane, Melbourne, Jo'burg and Oslo. If you're not sure where those places are, buy an Atlas. Then a ticket.