Review: Jason Donovan And His Amazing Midlife Crisis Tour, Pocklington Arts Centre, Monday, February 4

JASON Donovan had another midlife crisis point on his hands, or a middle finger crisis, more like. He had cut it rather badly when rummaging in the rubbish bin after enjoying a few glasses on Sunday afternoon.

The ex-pat Aussie was back on the road on Monday nevertheless, the finger bandaged, for the first of two sold-out nights in Pocklington, to be followed by a Leeds City Varieties show tomorrow.

Last year Jason was playing to 75,000 as Kylie's surprise guest at her 50th birthday Hyde Park bash. By contrast, he has been marking his own 50th with these confessional, autobiographical chat shows, close up and personal, playing to a room full of women of a similar age and very few, somewhat sheepish men in Pock.

The show had a slow start. A short film narrated by Donovan, setting out his philosophy on turning 50 and his career so far, preceded his entry in a dapper blue velvet jacket and black jeans. Although guitarist Stelios took up a seat to his side, there was to be no opening song, and Jason used Stelios more as a sounding board for occasional comments, sometimes facing sideways towards him, rather than outwards towards his adoring fan club. He broke into a "menopausal" sweat too at one point, to his own bafflement.

He had headings, as if for a powerpoint presentation, both on a screen and in cue cards for themes, but he tended to speak off the cuff, as opposed to the scripted lyricism, home truths and high comedy of natural raconteur Suggs's two more tightly focused five-star chat shows.

While there was charm aplenty, and wry humour too, the stories were largely gentle recollections of Kylie, Neighbours, Strictly and Jason, the family man, rather than deep insights into celebrity, although he did reflect on his "coke" days, briefly on his libel case against The Face magazine, and his vocal problems that have troubled him in recent years, leading him to use Botox on his neck muscles every three months.

If the first half was low-key, as if Jason were adjusting to a typically quiet but enthusiastic Pock audience, seated so close to his own armchair, the second opened with a singalong Any Dream Will Do, and he belatedly relaxed into having fun working his way through rails of clothes from pop videos, Joseph, Rocky Horror and Priscilla. Cheeky audience questions and selfie requests went down well, before Ten Good Reasons had the ladies singing again, phone cameras held aloft.

What comes next for Jason? He is producing a new tour of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, opening in October. A new stage of his long, long career beckons.