New musicals are cropping up all over the West End, some more alluring than others. Rock of Ages is similar in structure to ‘We Will Rock You’ – a vague narrative created around a list of hit songs. It is certainly a fun night out - in fact, I’m not sure I can remember laughing so much at the theatre; whether this was the producer’s intentions though I’m not sure.
Set on the famous Sunset Strip, a typical love story emerges amidst the grungy Rock scene. The 80s nurtured some of the greatest and most successful rock artists of all time and their legendary music is brought back to life by this energetic and passionate cast. It stars Justin Lee Collins and X-Factor winner Shayne Ward among the celeb singers, both exceeded my expectations, singing, dancing and acting with professionalism and wit. A tiny Amy Pemberton takes on the role of Sherrie, bubbly and cute she certainly looks the part, but the Rock genre doesn’t bring out the best in her voice. The other half of the love interest is a handsome Oliver Tompsett playing Drew: though slightly wet and weedy, vocally he is great.
I was a little disappointed that this show made fun of itself so much, rather cheapening the production and the overall effect. Everyone was given complimentary lights on entry and to be held aloft, much to our entertainment, during the slower ballads. Visually the team have gone all out, it is hard to know where to look - the auditorium transformed with the elaborate set, outrageous costumes, and fabulous glitter and confetti showers.
During the crazy ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ finale we decided that this is the perfect show for a hen or stag night - I guarantee you’ll walk out smiling, but if you are after a more impressive musical theatre experience, there are better shows out there to choose from.
Visit ROCK OF AGES website here to book.