Fascinating Aida is a national institution that has entertained the masses for decades' on-stage, online and (apparently) even in television! The funny female comedy trio (maybe I should have worded that as 'trio of comedy women'...) have had success all over the globe, and their founder Dillie Keane is the brains behind the operation, writing the extremely clever and poetic lyrics and momentous melodies full of wit, often alongside her fellow member and dear friend Adele Anderson.

Accompanied by seasoned professional pianist Michael Roulston - who even duets and pitches in the singing - the show, set in the beautifully ornate Concert Room of the grand St George's Hall in Liverpool (worth the ticket price just to admire the room), this is a show you don't want to miss! It is after all her first solo tour in 557 years and, despite playing to the oldfashionedness and vintage take on love and romance, we see that this lady of the arts is still as youthful as ever, not least when she jumps backwards onto the piano.

Prior to what we witness, we are warned that the show 'contains adult language and content' but this is in the form of good old variety and rarely an expletive is included. Sold as a showcase of 'brand new tunes, old favourites, gorgeous songs of love and hilarious songs of utter wickedness' we are taken on a journey through the days of Fascinating Aida (to re-tour next year) and Dillie (and Adele's/other friends') choice and unsuccessful experiences and taste in men. Dillie breaks your heart, mends it again and has it sent to the cleaners for pressing, with anecdotes from tours gone by and brilliant choreography to fit the well-timed comedy. I commend Michael for keeping up with the wordy yet articulate songs that follow a real spectrum of musical styles.

With many only knowing or hearing the fun and genius penned pieces, it is easy to forget that, as humans, comedians (or comediennes) live normal lives and as well as being somewhat unlucky in love they have low moments in their lives, like the loss of a friend, the entering into their life of a 'Pam', the fear of being 'out of practice' in love and dating but the poignant and passionate songs that are weaved throughout the show, with pure fluidity and glide, break up the 'laugh a minute (or perhaps more frequent)' ones. Notably many end with a witty quip, one even has every other word as 'the woman who entered [her] life that she wished hadn't' who they tried to write a song about but realised that they had given her the wrong name - not Penelope as it was too many syllables, not Patsy are there aren't enough rhymes...

Despite an air of slight eccentricity - even reflected through the rather 'dotty' outfit worn for the second half which appears to show 'all sorts' - Dillie has a clear interest in people and makes us aware of her experiences with tarot and clairvoyance, which? I guess relates to the 'spooky presence' contained within some of the sings - their first was called 'Rain' and two days later it did! Expressed, as each sings is, through a scene and persona, we hear of tarot by Hungarian owner and cook of The Tipsy Gypsy in Australia and the embodying of those from the past - 'reincarnation' if you will - through an old northern smoking lady in Blackpool. We are assured that, having 'HAD quite a life', Dillie is 'happy' and settled in the country, as predicted, and we are treated to some great songs like her partner's first ever Christmas present 'Love Late'.

The theme of the proceedings is 'Love' and we are treated to a selection of personal but extremely humorous tunes that prove just how complicated the process can be. We are resigned to the fact that there is only one real love that will reign and remain through thick and thin, good and bad... explained and justified through 'Pudding In .the Ritz '.

With titles like "Shattered Illusions", "Little Shadows", "Quite A Bit More Married Than He Said", "Wouldn't It Be Lovely To Be A Lesbian" and "This Ain't The Hokey Cokey Anymore", there is something for everyone to enjoy and empathise with and if you miss this intimate tour, with a night at each venue, your life will be filled with regret.

With this as only the third date of the tour, it runs at Keswick tonight (4th March), Coventry, etc. Returning up north to Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music on 24th March. Miss it at your own peril! Some people say that humour comes naturally but it takes a real entertainer to make a crowd of people laugh just with facial expressions, real life and even make you tap dance.

Reviewer: Chris Oatway

Reviewed: 3rd March 2016