|Wilmas rating: 3/ 5
Where: Shaftesbury Theatre
How Much: £20-£65
How long: 2hrs 30mins including interval
Running until: October 21 2012
Review performance date:
|‘The best party in London’… or is it?
Rock of Ages is certainly a party! Theatre attendants walk up and down the isles during the performance selling beers to anyone who calls out, ensuring the audiences get suitably sozzled (and they certainly did)!
The Shaftesbury Theatre seems to be going through some renovation work but once you get inside the theatre itself all of that becomes unimportant. Rock of Ages has the best theatre design I’ve seen since Matilda. Neon signs and billboard posters are all around the stage and make a real fun 80’s statement.
The show is set on LA’s Sunset Strip where we see Sherrie (Natalie Andreou) arrive to make her fortune as an actress. She gets a job in a bar where she meets Lonnie (Simon Lipkin) and Dennis (Justin Lee Collins) who are fighting to save their bar from being bought and torn down. They invite rock legend Stacee Jaxx (Shayne Ward) to perform at the bar in the hope that it will save their club.
I expected Shayne Ward to be the star of the show, with Justin Lee Collins not far behind due to their celebrity status but their roles are fairly minor in comparison to Simon Lipkin (Lonny) who gave the performance of his life (a far cry from Dennis Galahad in Spamalot).
A real shocker for me was that the role of Drew was played by an understudy, Jamie Muscato who seemed so comfortable in the part, I believed he was the principal cast member.
This show is unashamedly good fun, with outrageous 80’s costumes and 30 rock anthems to really get the crowd going. This is unlike any other show in the west end, it is a rock concert with a story line, more than a piece of theatre.
The highlight for everyone was catching a few glimpses of Shayne Wards body and made quite a few ladies (and some men too) salivate in their seats.
If you want a good time on a Friday night, or want to lust after Shayne Ward for a couple of hours, then this is the show for you. The best party in London it could be, but a piece of real theatre it isn’t.