Boogie Nights at New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

by Julie Wallis twitter.com/nicenic63

Boogie Nights at New Alexandra Theatre

Boogie Nights, the 70s musical is a disco extravaganza and is at the New Alexandra Theatre until Saturday.

If you love a great jukebox musical Boogie Nights is the perfect evening out for you and a sure fire hit. With so many classic disco tunes you’re bound to find your toes tapping. In fact, you know you’re in for a treat when Boogie Nights starts with a standing ovation and just continues to get better and better.

Boogie Nights 3
Boogie Nights

There is not a huge amount of story, but it’s basically a love story. Roddy (Elliot Gooch) is a bit of a wide boy and womaniser, he has been dating Debs (Isabella Kibble) since their school days. But can Roddy and Debs love survive into adulthood, can Roddy fulfil his dream of becoming a rock star and will Spencer find out that Roddy has been fooling around with his girl?

With a huge cast, Boogie Nights opening scene is a wedding reception and it looks and sounds great with so many people on stage. Roddy gets all the audience up onto their feet to join in with some singing, clapping and dancing. All of the big scenes where there is supposed to be a crowd looked great. I particularly loved the fancy dress dance competition at the local night club disco, which is called Boogie Nights.

Boogie Nights
Boogie Nights

Predominantly set in 1977, but going back to recap on Roddy and Debs early days from 1972, Boogie Nights contains live singing from the cast, including I lost my Heart to a Starship Trooper, Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. As well as musical tracks of songs such as The theme from Our Tune (Nino Rota – Romeo & Juliet), Pearl & Dean Theme (Pete Moore – Asteroid) and The Jaws Theme (by John Williams). There really is an eclectic mix of music.

For such a young cast there is some serious talent. Don’t be put off because this is billed as an am-dram. Last nights show was one of the most uplifting, vibrant and joyous nights out I have enjoyed in a long time. Full of energy, enthusiasm and entertainment.

Boogie Nights
Boogie Nights

Pollyann Tanner has done an absolutely terrific job as Director and Choreographer. The dance scenes are big, bold and blooming impressive with Calypso leaps, ballet style spins and jumps (I’m sure they have proper names) as well as the wedding and the disco scenes.

Boogie Nights starts at a wedding, Debs looking radiant in her white dress and veil, and Roddy takes us back to tell us how the wedding day came to be, we are introduced to the likes of Roddy’s friend Terry (Thomas Parkinson) his dad Eamon (Liam Huband) Lorraine (Grace Williams) Trish (Melissa Huband) Dean (Jonah Sercombe) and Spencer (Gibsa Bah).

Boogie Nights
Boogie Nights

Jane Griffiths as head of wardrobe has gone overboard with her creations, blinding us the audience with all the colour and sparkle that the disco era contained. From sequined hot pants to fabulously loud flairs and hippy prints. Considering the 70s are often referred to as the decade that fashion forgot, I loved last night outfits, they really added a very loud splash of colour on stage.

I know the phrase “uplifting” is often used to describe musicals, but last night really was uplifting and full of joy. I’d love to be able to name everyone who was on stage last night, but with over 100 performers that would be impossible. Suffice to say Roddy, Debs and all their friends were very, very entertaining.

See Boogie Nights at New Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 24th August. Book tickets here: atgtickets.com/shows/boogie-nights/new-alexandra-theatre-birmingham

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