I saw On The Town at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre on 8th June 2017.
It was my first time at an Open Air Theatre and the weather wasn’t exactly fantastic but luckily the rain held off. It was a good experience. Although it felt a bit odd getting covered in leaves, hearing birds and being able to see all of the audience. I had a really good seat, considering none of the prices are too expensive for London, and could see all of the action on stage. I am looking forward to the end of summer seeing JCS and can see that this could become an annual theatre trip venue.
I was really looking forward to this show as it had almost sold out and I knew that Drew McOnie’s choreography was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed the show but did feel that the first act was a bit too long, it seemed to be a bit repetitive and I felt my mind wandering a few times. The second act was much better as the story took hold and I felt more in tune with the characters. Overall it was a slick production and I am really pleased I have managed to see it. Drew McOnie’s choreography as expected was superb. The moves and positions that the dancers held was great, the routines were all very emotive and used the large stage well. The dancers themselves were all completely on point and the routines were performed effortlessly. I especially liked the changes to the original show, for example the homosexual couple which was particularly powerful and felt current too.
The set was amazing and I loved how it was changed throughout the show. The props and ways of changing scene without having backdrop to change was really clever and I think wherever you were sitting you would get a great view of the action. I particularly liked the subway, the different girls apartments and venues during the second act. The attention to detail was great and even though you could see the set pieces being changed it was very well hidden and did not detract from the action taking place on the stage. The idea of having the stage hands in costume and being part of the action also helped. The costumes were well designed and matched the era exactly as well as allowing the dancers to freely move.
Danny Mac who played Gabey was really good. A lot of people will be attending this show as he is the ‘star’ having been on TV a lot but I felt he deserved his place in the company. His dancing was great and he did not seem out of place against the more seasoned performers. Although his voice wasn’t breathtaking but certainly was fit for the job.
I really liked Sienna Kelly who played Ivy. She performed every move effortlessly and her facial expressions were great. Lizzy Connolly, as Hildy, was so funny! She really got the crowd going and her comic timing was great. I felt that Claire, played by Miriam Teak-Lee, was a bit over the top but I think that is how the character is meant to be played and for a newcomer to West End she was very good in the role. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Jacob Maynard but the understudy was great and you wouldn’t have known he was an understudy. Raff Covino did an amazing job as swing considering she had learnt the show in 1 day only a week prior after only finishing Rent a few days beforehand. I also really enjoyed seeing Myles Brown, Edward Chitticks, Cristina Hoey and Sam Salter.
I did really enjoy the show and whilst it is not completely my cup of tea as I prefer more contemporary, modern musicals it was definitely worth a view and would recommend it. Anyone wanting to see brilliant dancing, amazing sets and to experience a fantastic open air theatre should make an effort to visit this summer before it goes!