Warning: there are spoilers ahead as I need to talk about every incredible aspect of this show!

Credit: Johann Persson

You may have already heard of Newsies from the original 1992 movie starring Christian Bale or the Disney+ 2017 Broadway pro shot starring Jeremy Jordan. It is based on the true 1899 event of children who sold newspapers (hence ‘newsies’) who went on strike due to poor working conditions under journalist giant Joseph Pulitzer. It is being performed in Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre – the perfect venue for this show. As you walk into the massive auditorium, you are already immersed in the newsies’ world, with clothes, hammocks, and newspapers hanging from the rafters. The stage is reminiscent of the industrial period with a three-story fire escape that swing out to accommodate Medda Larkin’s (played by the powerful Moya Angela) show. There are pathways that go into the audience, where the newsies will run, dance, and sing. Set designer Morgan Large makes great use of the huge space, and I felt the longer I looked, the more there was to see. I can’t imagine this show working as well in any other theatre.

Credit: Johann Persson

Newsies begins with a high energy that never dissipates. It didn’t hurt that the audience at press night was wonderfully enthusiastic giving not one but two standing ovations during ‘Seize the Day.’ I grew up watching Newsies, and this revamp of a beloved musical had a lot riding on it. I’m pleased to say I found it even better than the original. I was pleasantly surprised at the updates they made: having a woman be the journalist, giving Jack Kelly a bigger backstory and artistic talent, and, of course, having the Brooklyn newsies be consisted of women. ‘Brooklyn’s Here’ is one of my favorite theatre moments of this year.

Credit: Johann Persson

Michael Ahomka-Lindsay captures Jack Kelly’s famous suave and wit, though he had to ease into his New York accent and didn’t quite send shivers through me in ‘Santa Fe.’ Nonetheless, he is a great Jack, and he shares great chemistry with Bronte Barbe’s Katherine Plumber, the female journalist who gives the newsies their big break. Barbe is charming in her own right, has a lovely voice, and is easy to like. Barbe has some of the cheesiest lines in the production (that can be expected with a Disney show), but she delivers them with grace, making them seamless.

Credit: Johann Persson

Newsies has the most incredible ensemble I’ve ever seen. There is never a knee bent, a toe unpointed (unless purposefully flexed), a turn fallen out of, or a note off-key. Not to mention the acrobatics – flips and leaps galore; walking hand stands; cartwheels; stunts; spinning from light fixtures; zip-lining through the audience; tap dancing on tables! And just when you think they can do it all, they are also incredibly charming, inspiring, and have an evident brotherhood. These men are the cream de la creme. I am in awe at their talent and stamina; I don’t know how they do it night after night without a trace of exhaustion.

Credit: Johann Persson

Newsies is an absolute must-see; I guarantee you will not be disappointed. It is also showing at a (purposefully?) perfect time with all of the strike action currently happening in the UK. This 120 year old story sends an important message with a flair of extraordinary dancing – seize your day and go see it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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  1. I didn’t know Newsies existed till I find out about the Broadway show- meaning didn’t watch the 1992 film growing up

    How did I originally see the musical? The US Tour- August 2016, and that is how I fell in love with the musical. After that, saw the proshot with Jermey Jordan- that does has actors from my tour in it. My 2nd time seeing the stage show in person was in my hometown’s community college 2018

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