Set in 1980s LA, 'Rock of Ages' is based around the Bourbon Club on Sunset Strip and tells the story of its inhabitants through the medium of those wonderful 80's hair metal classics. It was of course made into a film a few years ago which famously saw Tom Cruise in the role of Stacee Jaxx proving he could actually sing a little.
I have actually seen this show before. Although I did enjoy it last time - the music in it is exactly what I love to listen to - I can't say I came away that time desperately wanting to watch it again. In all honestly I don't really remember a great deal about that performance at all so this time I was going in expecting to have a bit of a singalong and have a fun night out.
I was not prepared for what I actually came away feeling.
I can honestly say this was one of the best shows I've ever seen. It's funny how a different cast can make such a big difference to a show,
I loved absolutely everything about this.
The set, the songs the stories within a story that you have throughout this show.
It has everything you would expect from an 80's rock musical, lots of hairspray, spandex and scantily clad women. It is a lot like watching a Motley Crue video live in front of your eyes. It's gloriously camp and over the top.
But the best thing about this is the casting!
This cast are incredible.
I wouldn't have expected to see people come from something as serious as Les Mis to this which is the complete opposite but that is what you have with this. And it shows.
Obviously we have the known artists in this that you always get with these shows, this show we had Strictlys Kevin Clifton as Stacee who actually blew me away. I've only ever seen Kevin as a dancer I had no idea he was such a great performer as well. And then the wonderful Kevin Kennedy AKA Curly Watts (ask your Mum) as Dennis - Kevin is in a rock band so he was always going to be great as an old rocker and a very grown up Zoe Birkett who shot to fame as one of the original Pop Idol contestants and has the perfect voice to play the Diva which she did with ease.
Drew for our performance was played by Joshua Dever, I always like to see when there's an understudy playing a main role and he was incredible in this, his voice was just perfect and his comic timing brilliant, his chemistry with Jodie Steele who played Sherrie was undeniable.
Everyone in this show had an incredible voice and everyone absolutely loved being up on that stage.
As always with me when I watch a show there's always a few stand out moments/people for me. Best bits for me were any scene with Franz and his father and Franz - Andrew Carthy's - rendition of 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' is just priceless!!, Lonny and Dennis' duet of 'I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore' was just as wonderful - if not better - than I expected.
Best thing about this show and the thing I think that made it so much better than the last show was Lonny himself. Lucas Rush just makes this show. From the second he opens his mouth to narrate this you can't keep your eyes off him. Even in the scenes when he's in the background - hiding behind a palm tree, being in a gospel choir - he just lights up the stage. He's flamboyant and camp and instantly likeable. The thing I love about this show is the fact they do break that 'fourth wall' and there is a lot of playing up to - and picking on - the audience. The narration is almost like a stand up routine and I have never laughed that much at a show before. Not only is he funny and captivating, boy can he sing.
This particular tour of this show is a must see!
Rock Of Ages is on at the Mayflower until Saturday, there are still tickets you must get some!
Jodie Brough - @jodievoicefm