REVIEW: THE BAND (New Victoria Theatre) ★★★

Not having been a fan of “Take That” I was unsure what to expect with the new “Take That” Musical “The Band” currently running at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking.

For me, the main issue throughout the show was the plot or to be more precise the lack of plot.

Briefly, five girls bunk off school after winning a competition to see their favorite boy band before a tragedy occurs that sets up the events of the second act

Twenty-years later, four of the girls (now women) are reunited when one of them wins a competition to see the band performing in Prague.

A highlight for me was seeing these forty-something women frolicking in a Prague fountain whilst the five-strong boy band masqueraded as statues dressed in grey rubber.

However, It was “Andy Williams” who played “Every Dave” including the bus driver, the Czech police officer, the cleaner and the caretaker who really had me laughing in every scene.

I am fully aware that as a man in his Mid-Fifties, I am far from this show’s target audience.

If you watched Gary Barlow’s BBC one talent series, Let It Shine, you would have seen Gary whittle down the contestants to the final “AJ Bentley”, “Nick Carsberg”, “Curtis T Johns”, “Yazdan Qafouri” and “Sario Solomon”. Creating the all-male pop group Five-to-Five.

These five lads sing and dance energetically and make a convincing five piece pop group.

I remember seeing the musical “Viva Forever” a few years ago, which uses the music of the Spice Girls, and I remember not loving it, however at least that show tried to integrate the songs more fully into the show, I felt that in this production no effort had been made to do so.

The Band is a pleasant trip down memory lane however it is not a show that will move you or blow you away. Unfortunately, I am not sure that “The Band” really did ‘Relight My Fire.’

Reviewed by Neil Mcfarlane
Photo: Matt Crockett


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