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Respect La Diva @ the Garrick the Garrick Theatre

LADIES NIGHT: (l-r) Denise Pearson, Zoe Birkett, Sheila Ferguson and Katy Setterfield star in the show

AS SOON as the curtains rose and the live band played the opening chords of one of my favourite Tina Turner tunes, Simply The Best, I knew this would be a special night.

Hosted by former X Factor star Andy Abraham, Respect La Diva pays homage to the illustrious careers of some extremely talented female singers of the last five decades.

So just what is a diva? The programme notes read: ‘A woman who is extremely talented. The term was originally used in the operatic world and now more generally to talk about talented female singers in all genres.’

Fittingly, vintage performers such as Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Etta James, Dusty Springfield and Dame Shirley Bassey whose performances, incredible vocals and natural ability have had a huge influence on music, were all honoured.

Modern day ‘divas’ who were also saluted included Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Whitney Houston. And as for the cast members, they too are divas in their own right.

The star of the show is Philadelphia-born Sheila Ferguson, who found fame as the lead singer of The Three Degrees, while Brit Award winner Denise Pearson of Five Star fame, also dazzles during the show.

Among the feel good, toe-tapping favourites that were belted out were River Deep Mountain High, Say A Little Prayer and Respect; all of which sounded authentic and were performed credibly.

Pearson put in a particularly show-stopping rendition of Beyonce’s Listen from the hit film, Dreamgirls.

The show jumped from era to era with breakneck pace and the talented cast, musicians, backing singers, energetic dancers and added extras, provided by host Abrahams, ensured an entertaining night was had by all.

l Respect La Diva is at the Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross, London WC2 until September 24. Visit

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