Come for the nostalgia; stay for the special effects.

Credit: Sean Ebsworth Barnes

Having been on the West End for two years, and recently making their debut across the pond, Back to the Future remains a popular choice for an evening out. The stage is extremely impressive, even before the show begins. Lights extend to the sides of the stage, giving the illusion it is much bigger. Through the set is as extravagant as you’d expect a West End set to be, The DeLorean Time Machine is, by far, the most impressive thing about it. There is no question money has been poured into this production. It truly has that wow factor that draws in audiences.

Credit: Sean Ebsworth Barnes

The costumes and ensemble are brilliant. The beauty of this show is we get two bouts of nostalgia – the 80s and the 50s. Teased hair, scrunchies, and pastel leotards transform into slicked-back hair, fluffy dresses, and keds. While this aspect is strong, none of the main actors really stand out as performers. Marty (Ben Joyce) and Doc (Cory English) are played in a way that they are almost caricatures, with Marty constantly looking at the audience with a confused face for comic effect. With that being said, George (Oliver Nicholas) is quite amusing, though slightly overplaying his trademark laugh.

There are a few ad-libs, mostly between Marty and Doc, that don’t fit into the show’s humour. Additionally, a few jokes are made in poor taste: for example, when Marty ‘steals’ a rough sleeper’s bench, or when Doc says he wants to visit the year 2020 and hopes there aren’t any deadly diseases then.

Credit: Sean Ebsworth Barnes

It may sound counterintuitive, but this musical is very song heavy. While a couple – namely, Doc’s song in the opening of Act II and Goldie’s song (allowing Jay Perry to share his incredible voice) – are enjoyable, most are unneeded, not memorable, and don’t advance the plot. Maybe if they had only included big numbers, the production would be able to focus more on the story.

It’s no secret what you’re in for when you see Back to the Future; it’s another commercialized West End show to go to when you want a light-hearted, fun night out. You can book your tickets here at London Box Office:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

{🎟️ AD – tickets gifted by London Box Office in exchange for an honest review}

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