Rock of Ages (UK Tour): Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Reviewed 24th June 2019
The hit musical comedy has been taking the UK theatres by storm in the ultimate 80s rock’n’roll musical. Rock of Ages is an LA love story complete with over 25 classic rock anthems including Don’t Stop Believin’, We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Wanted Dead Or Alive, Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight This Feeling and I Want To Know What Love Is. Rock of Ages features a star-studded cast including Strictly Come Dancing 2018 Winner Kevin Clifton, Kevin Kennedy and Zoe Birkett alongside well-known West End names such as Jodie Steele, Luke Walsh, Lucas Rush, and Rhiannon Chesterman. Having been made into a star-studded Hollywood movie as well as having hit seasons on Broadway, London’s West End and Las Vegas, Rock of Ages promise you a night of ‘outrageous rock‘n’roll debauchery at the biggest party in town!’
Lucas Rush welcomes the audience to the ‘temple of rock’n’roll’ and excels as Lonny, the narrator figure of the show. Breaking the third wall on several occasions his non-stop energy and raucous behaviour fits with the show brilliantly. All of the cast are superbly cast and their energy is seen throughout. Jodie Steele’s powerhouse vocals are expertly demonstrated as Sherrie, particularly during the song ‘Harden My Heart/Shadows of the Night’. The relationship between her character and Luke Walsh, who plays Drew, is believable and show a real contrast to the somewhat over the top characters and storyline on offer in this rock’n’roll romp. Kevin Clifton shows that he is much more than just a ballroom dancer with his rock alter-ego and Curly Watts a.k.a Kevin Kennedy’s hilarious comedy duo with Lucas Rush is superb. From start to finish all of the cast are truly living out their rock dreams with gusto.
Nick Winston’s lively choreography mixes a range of dance styles and feels fresh. The female ensemble members (Erin Bell, Sinead Kenny, Sarah Webb and Paris Green) are put through their paces with some highly provocative and raunchy moves – all of which they perform with ease and conviction. The lighting, by Ben Cracknell, is some of the best seen in a touring production. Vibrant and bright – it transports the audience into a rock’n’roll concert at a large stadium. The perfectly timed lighting adds to the show brilliantly. As does the cleverly designed set; the multi-levelled set made up of speakers easily transforms into different locations through the use of smaller set pieces and the clever digital screen at the rear.
Rock of Ages doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is about having a great night out. Rocking to some iconic 80’s rock’n’roll hits and having a laugh. Flirty and fun, this musical is a rock’n’roll romp through the 80’s complete with sex, drugs, fame and love*. Yes, it is overly sexualised at some points, highly stereotypical and sexist but looking past this Rock of Ages is certainly an entertaining night out. With some hilarious scenes and one-liners as well as fantastic music, audiences can be guaranteed to find something to enjoy whilst traveling back in time with this one!
Rock of Ages plays at the Marlowe, Canterbury until Saturday 29th June 2019. For information and tickets click here. The tour continues until the 3rd August 2019, for further venues and tickets click here.
Photo Credit: Richard Davenport
*Over 18’s audience recommended due to the sexualised content of the show.
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