REVIEW: Pop Factor - The Concert, Playhouse Whitley Bay

While Little Mix were rocking Newcastle and TV's The Voice finalists were battling it out for their moment in the limelight, Whitley Bay was enjoying its own little taste of pop heaven

Pop Factor – The Concert may lack the clout of those aforementioned pop heavyweights, but in the eyes of the teeny weeny boppers who landed at the Playhouse with their glow-sticks and glitter it was the business.

The show bills itself as “a celebration of the biggest pop stars and chart hits” creating a mini concert for the kids.

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And on that front the seven-strong cast certainly delivers, mining a rich seam of throwaway modern pop classics for two lively hours of fun.

Squint your eyes and it really could have been Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and One Direction ripping up the Bay.

Okay, so you may have had to squint very hard and at times stick your fingers in your ears to be fooled into thinking they were the real thing, but the four boys and three girls carrying the show certainly looked like great pop band material.

They had the looks, the dance moves and they could hold a note – what more do you want? There’s been plenty of pop bands who achieved more, with far less.

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Certainly the majority of the audience, which was predominantly girls aged under 11 and their parents, lapped up the spectacle.

As 50-year-old dad of two boys and a fan of The Smiths, this was clearly not a show aimed at my demographic. Fortunately I could watch the gig through the eyes of my two primary school nieces, and I can report it hit the spot with those wee Beliebers.

Sharing the stage with the cast were the local dance troupes from the Sandra Welsh School of Dance and the Ian Pyle Dancers who were living their own Fame dream.

The Pop Factor singers made sure everyone got into the party spirit of the evening with dance and singing competitions to break up their breakneck run through the chart-toppers.

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You had to hand it to the cast, they threw themselves into their performance and by the end of the night had the entire audience on their feet and dancing.

They brought the show to a close with a medley of hits and dance moves before racing off stage, only to appear in the foyer taking selfies and signing autographs for the kiddies.

Hats off to the lot of them. While they may still harbour dream of making the big time like Little Mix just down the road, they can take solace in knowing they’d made the night of hundreds of little girls and boys in Whitley Bay.