In a remarkably quick return after its Coliseum outing , Jim Steinman’s barmy musical is storming onto the Tottenham Court Road, rocking on. Few cast changes – we still have the rockstarry Polec, a fair curly-headed manic figure looking like Fotherington-Thomas gone to the dark side, and Christina Bennington as the rebellious Raven; we still the choreography by Emma Portner and the rowdy, explosive, shape-shifting set by Jon Bausor. And it’s even louder than at the Coliseum.
I still love it. I stand by my earlier review here – on a very hot summer night I still offer it my throat, as per wolf.
Even though chaos on the trains on press night meant I had to flee before the second half…
But it has been brought to my notice that some critical voices I respect really don’t like it. So here are a few reasons I do..
- Because Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton are hilarious as the heroine’s parents , first in their furious “Who needs the Young” song, then unforgettably in the onstage Cadillac rendering of “Paradise by Dashboard light”. Surely you gotta love a youthy rock gig where the middle-aged steal the scene?
- Because Danielle Steers delivers : “I won’t do that” in something approximating a solid gold blues baritone
- Because of the bit where the motorbike explodes
- Because Jim Steinman’s lyrics are among the best expressions of rock’n’roll rebellion ever written, while managing to be ironic with it
- Because of the ensemble movement. Wild yet daft.
- And the plot: plain daft, based on Peter Pan while remaining the least J.M.Barrie show imaginable
- Because come on – if you’re going to do a ridiculous jukebox musical, the city which has embraced the vapidly ghastly Mamma Mia for years on end deserves a better break.