Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Review | BLOCKBUSTER THE MUSICAL (UK Tour) September 2014

Like so many that have come before it, Blockbuster The Musical is yet another jukebox musical that aims to give audiences a the chance to reminisce and re-live a particular era - this, the 70's. It's not unlike any of the others out there in the saturated market, a show woven together as an excuse to perform some well known hits. Unlike Mamma Mia or We Will Rock You however, if like me you're in your twenties, you probably won't have heard of many. 

Now that you've got the 70's music in mind, take the 80's Back To The Future and merge them together. Our hero Mickey Block (named purely as an excuse to sing Hey Mickey) played by Aaron Sidwell begins as a normal teenager in 2014, busking at Leicester Square tube station. He visits Mad Max (Paul Nicholas) in a Soho record store who thrusts him into a cupboard and hurtles him back to 1973. Once in the 70's, Mickey has to perform two selfless deeds in order to turn his life around, one involves him donating his rare O negative blood in a transfusion to save love interest Teresa (Aimie Atkinson) who is knocked down by a police horse whilst protesting against the Vietnam war...

The plot is predictable, the script is basic but the entirely redeeming factor is an incredibly strong cast who work their hardest to ensure what they're in control of is decent. Aaron Sidwell (Carnaby Street) is impressive as Mickey with an energetic version of Tiger Feet and a great Don't Play Your Rock 'n' Roll. Another fantastic addition is the excellent Suzanne Shaw as Carol who's If You Can't Give Me Love is one of the show's highlights. The choreography by Rebecca Howell is strong and a particularly striking I'll Meet You At Midnight makes a great closing number to the first cast.

They seem to be compulsory with this type of musical, but the megamix finale ensures people are up on their feet and clapping along having enjoyed a lighthearted evening out. Perhaps not one for the youthful theatregoer but those of a reminiscent age should gather a group of friends and have fun with a superb cast. At Birmingham New Alexandra Theatre until Sat 27 September. Tickets here

Blockbuster The Musical features classic hits by Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Smokie, Tina Turner and Mud, including: Ballroom Blitz, Blockbuster, Tiger Feet, Can The Can, Devil Gate Drive, Some Girls, Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone, Living Next Door To Alice, Teenage Rampage, Kiss You All Over, Oh Carol, Better Be Good To Me, Little Willy, The Cat Crept In, Lonely This Christmas and Mickey.

Cast List: Paul Nicholas, Suzanne Shaw, Aaron Sidwell, Louise English, Aimie Atkinson, Micha Richardson, Rosie O'Hare, Carla Nella, Grace Holdstock, Vicky Hoyles, Tom Millen, Lee Honey-Jones, Michael Anthony, Ryan Ridley, Alim Jayda, Blair Anderson, Tom Murphy. 

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