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Review: An Officer and a Gentleman at the Mayflower Theatre

Georgia Lennon as Paula Pokrifki Luke Baker as Zack Mayo in An Officer and a Gentleman (credit Marc Brenner)

 

The stage is set, and the audience is filling the seats at the Mayflower Theatre. Music, radio adverts and news bulletins play, taking you back in time to America in the 1980s.

The show opens with a single trumpet playing the opening melody from the classic ‘Up Where We Belong’ before seamlessly transitioning into ‘In The Navy Now’, a show twist on the classic Status Quo song. 

Although the main plot of this show and its source material is about the officer candidates, the women of this show really know how to create moments that stick in your mind. 

Time-honoured tracks such as ‘It’s a Man’s World’ and ‘Alone’ were sung and performed with such passion and power, really highlighting the emotions of the time which still reflect present day. 

A show all about perseverance, set at the height of what we would deem as ‘ultimate masculinity’, is better portrayed in the women of this show. 

Proving that behind every great man, is an even greater woman. 

I have to say huge props to the prop department and staging crew as they worked incredibly hard throughout the performance to set the stage and the tone of each scene with the amazing set design. 

Through the whole show, beds, a car, a motorbike and a set of stairs are move around the stage in a quick and controlled manor unlike any show that I’ve seen before. 

The cast of An Officer and a Gentleman (Marc Brenner)

The show has been cast beautifully, with the lead roles played by Luke Baker (Zack Mayo) and Georgia Lennon (Paula Pokrifki) who bought the smaller, more tender moments to light by drawing you in and pulling you into your feels. 

Melanie Masson (Esther Pokrifki) and Tim Rogers (Byron Mayo) bring in parallels of parenting and how it feels to be thrown into the life of an unexpected parent. 

Whilst the surrounding cast do an immaculate job of building scenes, building texture and colour into the show. 

This show has done an amazing job of showcasing a range of feelings that audiences are familiar with such as love, loss, longing, imposter syndrome, and disappointment, which are portrayed through the amazing acting performances and the well-chosen music for the show. 

This is especially the case for tracks such as ‘Kids of America’ and ‘I Want to Know What Love is’ which on the outside don’t sound as if they’d fit the plot but, they do in-fact, perfectly frame the story and emotions portrayed by the cast. 

Of course, iconic scenes from the film such as; the first line up and the Sergeants belittling speech and the ultimate romantic gesture of being carried away by an officer in white are portrayed in this stage show. 

But there’s something about being in the moment of the show that really highlight these classic scenes. 

This show will transport you to Pensecola, Florida with the hope and emotion of the 1980s, and have you swooning for ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’. 

Book your tickets here www.mayflower.org.uk

Georgia Lennon as Paula Pokrifki Luke Baker as Zack Mayo in An Officer and a Gentleman (credit Marc Brenner)

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