Following a successful run at the Vaults Theatre last year, the 50 anniversary production of Hair opened in Wimbledon this week ahead of a Nationwide tour. And the classic protest piece still packs a punch.
Moving the show from a tiny claustrophobic venue beneath Waterloo Station to a fully fledged proscenium arch theatre is no mean feat, but this production of Hair, expertly directed by Jonathan O’Boyle, still has all of the elements that made it such an inspiration in the first place. There’s plenty of nostalgia, but nothing that feels out of date and despite the fact that there is a lack of linear story with Hair, it keeps you captivated with the eccentric characters, musical theatre standards and the important underlying themes of acceptance, peace and love.
The venue isn’t the only thing that’s changed, most of the cast is different too, but the additions of some more we’ll known faces doesn’t detract from the well together ensemble performances. Star turns come from West End regulars Alison Arnopp and Paul Wilkins, but the reality TV stars almost keep up with Jake Quickenden, Daisy Wood Davis and Marcus Collins all giving good characterisation and energy to the production.
If you’re after a real musical theatre classic performed well, you can’t go wrong with this production of Hair.