Thursday, 20 November 2014

Review: Rock Of Ages (UK Tour) at the New Wimbledon Theatre

Rock Of Ages (UK Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 18th November 2014

Ok I'll admit it... Rock Of Ages is one of my biggest theatrical guilty pleasures! It is quite possibly the loudest, sexiest and wildest musical of all time and audiences cannot get enough of it! 

Set in 1987(ish), Rock Of Ages follows Sherrie who moves to Los Angeles with big dreams. She ends up meeting an aspiring rock star Drew and the pair fall in love before their careers begin to head in very different directions. However, you don't need to know too much about the story as the show makes no apologies for being the best excuse ever to put some of the greatest songs of all time into one show.

Ben Richards as Stacee Jaxx
Rock Of Ages is exhilarating fun. I don't think I've ever been part of such a wild Tuesday night audience - people were literally going bananas from start to finish. I love how varied the audience are, the musical attracts everyone from old school, die-hard rockers to teenagers who are discovering this incredible music for the first time.

Taking the mick out of theatre, Rock Of Ages can be appreciated by both dedicated theatregoers and those who don't usually like musicals. If you love 80s rock songs and approach Rock Of Ages with an open mind you will have the time of your life! 

This touring cast mean serious business. Wimbledon marks the final stop of the musical's current UK tour and the company are not going quietly! Each and every cast member let rip into each song - I felt like I was watching an almighty growl-off! 

Noel Sullivan and Cordella Farnworth make the perfect Drew and Sherrie. Their voices are impressive and they capture the humour and style perfectly. Stand out performances also come from Ben Richards as Stacee Jaxx and Rachel McFarlane as Justice Charlier. Cameron Sharp and Jessie May are utterly brilliant as Franz and Regina, 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' never fails to take my breath away. 

Stephen Rahman-Hughes is exceptional as Lonny. He has so much fun with the role and, alongside Daniel Fletcher as Dennis Dupree, brings the house down with 'I Can't Fight This Feeling Any More' which is the highlight of the show. Rahman-Hughes and Sullivan also share a hysterically funny scene during the second act involving sheep... I will say no more. 

If you want to see a show to brighten your spirits go and see Rock Of Ages this week in Wimbledon! I sincerely hope that this isn't the last we see of Rock Of Ages in the UK. It is such an irresistibly fun musical and I love that the cast are going out with a great big bang. 

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Rock Of Ages runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday 22nd November 2014
Click here for tickets.

Photo Credit:  Manuel Harlan

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