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Rock of Ages

Date

31st October 2017

Society

Allegro

Venue

Church Hill Theatre

Type of Production

Musical

Director

Andy Johnston

Musical Director

James McCutheon

Choreographer

Felicity Thomas

Report

Author: Dorothy Johnstone

I had never seen this show before and had no idea what to expect other than a collection of 80’s Rock tunes put together to make a ‘juke box musical’. Well what can I say? It was loud, raucous, raunchy, explicit in word and action, humorous, certainly not for the faint hearted with its skimpy costumes both male and female leaving nothing much to the imagination and absolutely brilliant!

The opening number ‘Cum On Feel the Noize’ backed by an excellent on stage band started the show with a bang. Everyone looked the part with the costumes, hair styles and makeup pertinent to the 80’s and from then on until the end of the show exuded high energy and grit both vocally and in action.

The narrator Lonny (Craig McKirgan) gave a pacey performance keeping us up to date with the storyline and interacted spontaneously with the audience. Drew Bailey, a would be rock star who works in the Bourbon Room nightclub, was brilliantly played by Fraser Jamieson. He meets and falls for the budding actress Sherrie played most sincerely by Jennifer Lane. The two played and sang very well together. Of course they have a misunderstanding and she is seduced by the rock idol Stacee Jax (Ross Stewart). Sherrie consequently loses her job in the bar and becomes a stripper in a night club run by the mama Justine (Josie Bodle) who looked stunning and sounded amazing.

Dennis (Jonny Farley) the owner of the Bourbon nightclub gave a sterling performance and obviously revelled in the role. ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling’ with Dennis and Lonny was hilarious as was Jonny’s final appearance in the auditorium as an angel scattering star dust!

Bring on Hertz (Richard Tebbutt) and his somewhat camp son Franz (Stuart Williamson) German developers who are trying to rid the place of ‘sex, drugs and rock ’n roll’ and the protesters led by the brassy and bossy Regina (Lyndsey McGhee) and there is real strong confrontation. All of these main characters gave wonderful performances. I did love Franz mannerisms and thought he delivered ‘Keep on Loving You’ brilliantly. There is a certain style of singing needed for a show like this and each and every one had the perfect rock style voice.

This is a real company show and the acting, interacting and reacting to what was happening was very well defined indeed. Everyone performed as an individual and not just ‘the chorus’ I must applaud the choreography and staging throughout. Not only was it well designed but delivered with high energy by all on stage making a tremendous impact. The singing too was excellent.

Imaginative lighting and the use of back projections enhanced the colourful set creating an exciting atmosphere. This was certainly a production which oozed passion and enthusiasm by every person on stage. The final ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ had the audience bouncing along.

Congratulations Allegro on a fantastic opening night which I enjoyed immensely.

You sure did rock.