THEATRES across the world are filled with shows made up of songs from the back catalogues of various musical stars.

Think Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You and Our House.

But although inspired by the 1975 debut David Essex album of the same name, this is no jukebox musical.

All The Fun of the Fair and its songs tell the fascinating, and at times harrowing, tale of life on a travelling funfair.

Essex stars in Jon Conway’s latest show as Levi Lee, the owner of the ailing 70s funfair who has plenty to deal with after the death of his wife in a fairground accident, his son rebelling and the dark predictions of his fortune teller beau. His voice has lost nothing of its gravelly power over the years. Newcomer Paul-Ryan Carberry, making his debut just a few months out of stage school, is an excellent angry teenager as his wayward son Jack.With their respective romantic affairs and plenty of twists and turns they ably carry the show between them, excelling with such Essex hits as Gonna Make You A Star, A Winter’s Tale and Hold Me Close. Theatre favourite Louise English also put in an enjoyable performance as the rather scary gypsy with the deadly predictions Rosa.

I particularly love the set, which includes a horse carousel, dodgem cars and even the motorbike wall of death. I suspect rather a large proportion of the audience would have attended whatever show David Essex was cast in, but this is not just for fans. I knew very few of the songs, but was engrossed in the tale, which brought the fairground to life, and was not just a way of wrapping together 19 of Essex’s earliest numbers.

All the Fun of the Fair runs until Saturday. Box Office:023 8071 1811