There’s a veritable feast of shows to evoke 80s nostalgia currently touring the country. And after both Dirty Dancing and Fame have entertained audiences at the New Wimbledon Theatre, this week it’s the turn of Rock of Ages to bring the questionable fashion sense and dubious hair styles for an outing.
Rock Of Ages was made famous by the 2012 film, which starred Tom Cruise and ran in the West End for two years gaining a cult following. But this is its first return to the capital since it closed in 2013 and it’s interesting to see how theatre has moved on in the interim.
A show with these ideals would be difficult to stage in the West End these days, but the tongue-in-cheek nature of the humour allows the story to bob along without too much emphasis on the outdated and, at times, distasteful themes.
Musically, it is an absolute winner with power ballad after rock anthem masterfully maneuvered into the plot and performed with absolute aplomb by the fantastic cast.
Strictly Come Dancing star Kevin Clifton loses his boy-next-door reputation and fills the role of love-rat Stacee Jaxx with rock star charisma and incredibly impressive vocals. Jodie Steele is fabulous as the wannabe actress Sherrie, while Luke Walsh brings a real charm to the role of Drew. There are vocal gymnastics performed throughout this show by the hugely talented cast, with Pop Idol star Zoe Birkett impressing as Justice and both Rhiannon Chesterman and Andrew Carthy taking their time to shine. Lucas Rush as the narrator Lonny really steals the show however, with a honed ability to break the fourth wall just at the right moments with cheeky charm and pizzazz in abundance.
Yes, some of the humour is very base and downright out of date, but this is still an entertaining show performed by an excellent cast, so definitely worth a watch.