ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK
Belgrade Theatre To 18 September 2010.
Runs 1hr 30min One interval.
Review: Jan Pick 14 September.
Surfing the rocking roller coaster at the Belgrade.
It’s a great evening out at the Belgrade Theatre this week where David King for Spirit Productions presents Rock Around The Clock. For anyone who lived through the 50s and 60s or who loves that era’s music this is the show to go and see. Packed with energy and sparkle, the cast belt and croon their way through the songs of Elvis, The Platters, The Everly Brothers, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis – an excellent performance from Jon Hawkins – and Connie Francis, to name but a few, and of course the unforgettable Bill Haley and His Comets whose hit, ‘Rock Around the Clock’, gives this musical extravaganza its name.
Among the many joys of the evening is Simon Schofield’s performance as Franki Valli, Michael Quinn, who wriggles his Elvis pelvis very pleasingly and Kurt Kansley’s convincing Chuck Berry, while Roxanne Pallett and Lucy Smethurst do the honours for the women, and do them proud.
Archive black and white film footage at the back of the set complements the enthusiastic performances of the cast, who seem to colour in the era as they whirl, stamp, jive and bunny hop around the stage belting out the hits of the day, only occasionally slowing the pace for the big ballad numbers.
Delivered with breathtaking pace and in fine style, with beautifully choreographed dance routines, the enthusiasm of the cast is infectious. The audience is sucked into a nostalgic trip down this musical memory lane, clapping and singing along to their favourite numbers and finally jumping to their feet and, for the brave few, even dancing in the aisles. Add a fine set design from Martin Perkins, and glorious costumes and this is a production that cannot fail to please. So let’s all get up to the Belgrade and rock.
Roxanne Pallett, Jon Hawkins, Kurt Kansley, Simon Schofield, Lucy Smethurst, Michael Quinn.
Naomi Jeffery, Andrew Carthy, Soula Fieldhouse, Jennifer Gainey, Sal Nidai, Nathaneal Nussa, Edwin Ray, Stacey Ryman.
Director/Choreographer: Neil Dorward.
Designer: Martin Peters.
Lighting: Paul Gould.
Sound: Danny Schurer.
Musical Director: Jon Ranger.
Costume: Jennifer Perkins.
Assistant director: Susanna Talbert.
Assistant choreographer: Naomi Jeffery.
Associate costume: Lisa Elmer.