I question any production where a character – often as not a celebrity – is a hologram (Michael Flatley I’m talking to you), not even recognisable (seriously, Bend It Like Beckham?) or something else quite ridiculous. I’d heard that Sinatra was an unusual production so I was a little bit apprehensive, but it actually isn’t that bad.
Now I like the man’s music – who doesn’t? – but it is slightly odd to sit watching a gigantic video of him while twenty people dance around below him. It is unique for sure and listening to Frank Sinatra at the Palladium is an experience, but you have to close your eyes to get that effect.
Ray Winkler’s set is impressive, with a fantastic 24-piece orchestra (MS the fabulous Gareth Valentine) providing the music; although this is incredible, many of the songs ‘Frank’ is singing had music underneath so the effect was a bit bizarre.
The dancers and choreography are also impressive, giving the audience something to watch while listening to a life size video of Sinatra. Again this was a bit odd, but it did help us to set the scene and help us to feel that we were were back in the 1950s and one of his adoring fans.
Kicking off with Fly Me to the Moon, you can’t help but love the concept of the production as the hits keep coming. Some classics like Come Fly With Me are missing, which is a shame, but the authentic footage and photographs that accompany some of the musical interludes is very interesting.
Whilst I appreciate what they were trying to achieve and I did enjoy myself, it felt more like I was watching a documentary than a true tribute to Frank Sinatra.
Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes
Sinatra the Man and his Music is playing at the London Palladium until 10 October 2015. Click here to book tickets