Tag Archives: Zoe Birkett

REVIEW: Rock of Ages – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

An unrecognisable Strictly Come Dancing champ, Kevin Clifton, dons a dodgy ‘80s wig and some even dodgier threads as fading rock star Stacee Jaxx, in Rock of Ages, Chris D’Arienzo’s fantastic, feel-good, fun musical.

1987, Los Angeles. Aspiring rock star Drew Boley (Luke Walsh) is working in the Sunset Strip bar The Bourbon Room. There he falls for small town girl Sheree (Jodie Steele) fresh off the bus from Kansas. While the two lovebirds’ romance looks to be on the up, the same can’t be said for the bar where they both work. Property developers have their eyes on this prime piece of real estate, and while the fight goes on for its survival, Drew and Sherrie’s relationship might just be headed for disaster too, thanks to larger than life rock god Stacee Jaxx (Kevin Clifton).

This isn’t Sondheim or Lloyd Webber or Andrew Lloyd Sondheim as they say in the show, but who thought it would be? Rock of Ages has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek, knowingly breaking the fourth wall to get the audience firmly on its side from the start. It’s a larger than life, cheesier than Camembert romp through the greatest ‘hair metal’ hits of the 1980s, a piece of escapist fun to chase the winter, spring, summer and autumn blues away. It’s simply an exemplary piece of pure, joyous entertainment.

Whilst Clifton is undoubtedly the box office draw, and a revelation vocally, this truly is an ensemble piece with an absolute dream of a cast. A cast, in its entirety, talented from their heads to their toes. A cast who put their hearts and souls into making this the most irresistible party in town. The always fantastic Lucas Rush deserves his place centre stage as narrator, Lonny – he is an utter joy, a fine comic actor, and an even finer singer. Luke Walsh as good guy Drew has the most fantastic voice and a fine future ahead of him. Jodie Steele is an excellent Sheree and Zoe Birkett gets to show off her magnificent vocals. TV and musical theatre veteran Kevin Kennedy is a loveable Dennis Dupree and Adam Strong and Andrew Carthy provide high camp comedy as German father and son property developers Hertz and Franz Klinemann.

Rock of Ages cracks along at a blistering pace from curtain up to curtain down, delivers laughs by the bucket load and some of the finest vocals and musicianship you are likely to see on any stage. Guaranteed to lift the spirits – what more could anyone want.

Runs until 26 January 2018 | Image: Contributed

THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR AND PUBLISHED BY THE REVIEWS HUB.

REVIEW: The Bodyguard – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

This review was originally written for and published by http://www.thepublicreviews.com at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/the-bodyguard-kings-theatre-glasgow/

For a night of pure unadulterated entertainment then audiences need look no further than The Bodyguard, currently playing at The King’s Theatre in Glasgow.

Based on the 1992 Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner box office hit of the same name, Alexander Dinelaris has taken Lawrence Kasdan’s movie script and turned it into a glitzy and glamorous musical theatre thriller, replete with the 80s and 90s pop hits and power ballads of the late Whitney Houston.

Pop diva Rachel Marron (Alexandra Burke), reluctantly hires a bodyguard (Stuart Reid) when she receives disturbing threats from an obsessed stalker (played here with convincing menace by Mike Denman). The initial frostiness between the superstar and her minder thaws and blossoms into an affair, but as their guard drops, danger is still lurking in the shadows.

The show is played out on a spectacular set by Tom Hatley where projections, sliding screens and pyrotechnics are utilised to great and glamorous effect. Indeed the cleverness and slickness of the design adds to the classiness of the whole affair. The thriller element too, adds a different and welcome dimension to the show that sets it in its own little niche apart from the usual musical theatre fodder. The direction by Thea Sharrock is brisk and has a filmic quality and the whole narrative moves along apace.

Pocket rocket Alexandra Burke proves to be the biggest surprise of the evening, it is to Burke’s credit and a show of her commitment to the role, that, on initially being offered it, she turned it down in order to embark on a series of acting lessons, and it certainly has paid off here. She maintains a convincing American accent throughout and displays both convincing toughness and vulnerability as it is required. She also has an appealing warmth, that despite portraying the diva, makes you root for her throughout. At encore too she seems genuinely appreciative of the reception she gets from the audience.

Burke is more than ably supported by her fellow cast members. In particular Stuart Reid as bodyguard Frank, who is an oasis of calm and strength in the middle of an ocean of madness, and who also provides some hysterical comedy moments, and Melissa James as sister Nicki who is in possession of a beautiful crystal clear singing voice.

It ain’t rocket science, but if it’s an evening of thrills and chills and great music from a first rate cast who give their all your looking for, then this can’t come more highly recommended.

Runs until Saturday 14 March 2015 then touring