Come for the nostalgia; stay for the special effects.
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.
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.
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.
The title of this winner of Theatre 503’s 2023 International Playwriting Award by Roxy Cook may seem like the set-up to a joke, but the narrative that unspools is instead an affectionate, gently barbed and at base quite sobering portrait of three ordinary souls (and one restless feline) adrift in modern Moscow. There is much … More A WOMAN WALKS INTO A BANK – REVIEW – THEATRE503
Peter Pan Goes Wrong first premiered in London at the Pleasance Theatre in 2013, and earlier this year the show made its Broadway debut. Now the production is back in the West End for the Christmas season. Following on from The Play That Goes Wrong, in this production, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is staged by … More PETER PAN GOES WRONG – REVIEW – LYRIC THEATRE
Drawing heavily from the classic canon of the British supernatural, High Tide’s trio of contemporary Gothic narratives uses traditional storytelling formats to address contemporary themes. Directed by Elayce Ismail, reverent musical interludes accompany tales of apparitions and nighttime conjurings that speak of women from the East of England. Unfortunately, the effect is less chilling and … More GHOST STORIES BY CANDLELIGHT – REVIEW – SAM WANAMAKER PLAYHOUSE
Drum roll please…(Cue a literal drum rolling across the stage.) The Lyric pantomime is one of traditions with the return of many well-loved jokes and skits. Costumes and sets are all made at the Lyric itself by Good Teeth, with set pieces being reused year on year. This year Cinderella gets the Hammersmith makeover, with … More CINDERELLA – REVIEW – LYRIC HAMMERSMITH
Amy catches up with Linus Karp ahead of his performance of Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story, at London’s Clapham Grand. Linus and Joseph of Awkward Productions are also the masterminds behind the new show Gwyneth Goes Skiing. Hello Your Majesty/ Candle Entrepreneur, how are you feeling coming back from a hugely successful fringe and … More INTERVIEW – LINUS KARP – DIANA: THE UNTOLD AND UNTRUE STORY