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Last night we had an evening in the Limelight Club. The act we were going to see was Jaki Graham, who was doing three nights (I think) on this cruise.

The evening was structured as follows: we turned up at 7pm and, after a short wait, were shown to our table for the evening. Then we were given menus and wine lists and made our selections. That didn’t take long as there isn’t much choice, in fact – a choice of two starters, three main courses (a meat dish, a fish dish and vegetarian dish), and no choice of desserts – just one option, “trio of desserts”. A hostess from the entertainments team introduced herself and explained how the evening would work. Among her points was the fact that because of the way the evening and the kitchen worked, it was necessary for all the guests to be at the same stage together, so (for example) all the starters had to be finished and cleared away before anyone got their main course.

Then our drinks arrived (we’d ordered these at the same time as the food) and soon after that, a complimentary pre-starter – some sort of mousse concoction, which was very pleasant. Then a while after that the starters arrived, and after they’d all been cleared away, the the main course. After we’d finished them and our table had been cleared, Jaki Graham come on and did about three numbers, as a taster. Then we had dessert; that was cleared away and coffee was brought. At that point Jaki reappeared and did her main act, which was about 45 minutes long.

She did a selection of classic soul and r&b songs from the 60s onwards, but also included a couple of her own songs which had been (possibly minor) hits in the 80s. She was accompanied by a ‘musical director’ on the piano, and we weren’t very impressed with him we – I thought his arrangements were too fussy. But Jaki herself was good – she commanded the floor; she spent a lot of her set down in the floor of the Club, in an open space between tables. She was a good night club act, with a mixture of chat, reminiscences, and songs. While not what we would normally listen to, in the context of the evening she was very good, and we really enjoyed it. The food, too, was good.

Altogether the evening was a bit more than three hours – we went in just after 7 and left somewhere between 10:15 and 10:30. If we ever cruise on Britannia again, we’d probably do it again.

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