Always popular with Brighton audiences Jerry Herman’s musical tells a moving love story within an outrageously comic framework.

Set in a Saint Tropez nightclub, hosted by owner Georges whose partner, Albin, is the star attraction Zaza, an exotic drag artiste. Her act is supported by La Cagelles, an all male line of chorus girls.

George has a son from a one night stand whose engagement necessitates attempts to hide his and Albin’s gay relationship from the ultra-conservative future parents-in-law.

John Partridge takes on the role of Zaza and, at this point, I have to confess that I did not take to his and director, Martin Connor’s course interpretation of the role. It is totally misconceived. The pivotal role of Zaza requires a delicate mixture of camp and dignity with a balance between comedy and pathos.

Gone is the pathos of an ageing performer fearful of losing a partner’s love. Lost is the charm of a sophisticated French cabaret artiste only to be replaced by a course pub drag act. And all played with an accent better suited to Blackpool than to St Tropez.

But never mind what I and the other traditionalists think. The bulk of the audience loved it, entered into the pantomime aspects and gave him and the show a standing ovation at the finale.

Adrian Zmed impresses as Georges exhibiting panache as the MC whilst his strong voice captures moments of moving tenderness especially in Look Over There and the love ballad, Song on the Sand.

The talented Marti Webb is vastly underused in the cameo role of restaurant owner Jacqueline. Samson Ajewole has great fun as the camp transvestite butler who would rather be in show business as one of La Cagelles, who add a touch of glamour with their high kicks and eye watering splits.