By Corinne Dudley, Love Derby Writer
The mysterious Ladyboys of Bangkok is a firm fixture in Derby's cultural calendar.
Those giant pink tents have been appearing on the Market Place every year for as long as I can remember and there is always that air of intrigue to what could be waiting for you on the inside.
My guest and I arrived at the Sabai Pavillion for the 7pm show and we headed straight to our table to make sure we got the best seats we could. Lucky for us we were the first to arrive and got the perfect view. However, no matter where you sit the tables are placed well enough for you to see everything.
Whilst waiting for the sold-out show to start you can indulge in the specialty Thai food on offer from the main bar area. There's Yellow Thai Chicken Curry to Stir Fried Vegetables in Soy Sauce, and Burgers should you want something a little less themed! You can also take a trip to the bar where you can get an arrangement of drinks in a special token Ladyboy's glass.
I'd been to see the Ladyboys a few years ago and had some expectations of what was to come. My guest, however, hadn't experienced the dazzle and awe of the show before, so I was excited to what they thought.
You soon start to forget you're sitting in the Derby Marketplace as the aura and amazement of the Sabai Pavillion takes over your imagination.
And then, the red curtains pull back, it's time for Ladyboys of Bangkok...
The entertainment soars from start to finish. The cabaret style show takes you through glamorous costume changes and perfect music picks to get you singing your heart out.
From Tina Turner to Pussycat Dolls, Little Mix to Queen, there are songs and choreography for all ages. The quick changing acts keep you engaged, as the excitement of what will come next keeps you on the edge of your seat.
For us - those people who dare not sing in public or stand up and dance - we were in amazement as more and more people rose from their seats to bounce and sing along to the music. There is one thing you can't deny, and that is the infectious pull of the Ladyboys and their ability to raise your energy to a whole new level.
And if the music isn't enough, there are comedy acts throughout the show. It is always a giggle when an unsuspecting male is plucked from the crowd to take part in the acts on stage!
After the short interval, the show returns and opens with excitement - who would have thought it would get better than this? As it starts to edge closer to the end of the night, we found ourselves singing along and moving in our chairs.
My guest's eyes were glued to the stage, from the start and like the rest of the room were dazzled by what they were seeing. And just like you had gone to see your favourite artist, there was a crowd on a spontaneous dance-floor at the front of the stage - the atmosphere in the room was electric.
The Greatest Showgirls appear in their spectacular finale, performing all your favourite Greatest Showman hits - and well, we couldn't resist joining the front to get a little closer to the spectacular that is the Ladyboys of Bangkok!
It's fair to say, we left with a buzz and so did everyone else.
Intrigued? Excited? Well, make sure you visit the Ladyboys of Bangkok at the Sabai Pavillion in Derby from Fri 29th Mar to Sun 14th Apr and also in Nottingham on the 20th to 28th of April.