This local show, seen last night, was, in my view, a slice of perfection!
Whole cast: Finale
Wow! What a truly fabulous experience that was! I came away, after minutes of wild whooping and standing ovation, glowing and glittering and smiling broadly at the wonder of it all…
…but, back a bit – reverse the car of enthusiasm round the corner of narrative beginnings!
This all started a few weeks backs when a lovely friend, Chris H, gave me two free tickets to see ‘Rock of Ages’. It was showing at the Blakehay Theatre, Weston-super-Mare, performed by Sunshine Productions and, looking at the reviews, promised to be a good evening.
Change that adjective to ‘superb’ immediately! From the moment the ‘Hooray for Boobies’-shirt-wearing, camp Lonny (played by Adam Hunter) minced and sashayed onto the stage, I was gripped.
He was hilarious, as was the grizzled old hippy, and rampant ‘f…’ word user, Dennis (a fine performance by Cy Boddy) – and their eventual love song and hysterically funny romantic moments caused massive waves of laughter to surge across the auditorium.
The central, and perhaps more conventional, love story, featuring Drew and Sherrie (beautifully brought to life by Michael Griffiths and Emma Griffiths – who, if not actually married in real life, certainly should have been!),was in turn touching, cringe-making, sweet and very very funny. The moment when, American big car parked, they got out the rug and the cooler and went through the excruciating ‘How far do I go?’ anguish (which features so prominently in all teenage dates) was utterly believable – and I think we all felt the frustration experienced by Sherrie at Drew’s ‘We are just friends…’ assertion.
Sleezy, jaded Rock star, Stacee Jaxx, with his long blonde curls, pink tops and penchant for a quickie in the cupboard with anything wearing a skirt, was a joy to behold – and Ian Pring played him to perfection, milking every move, every raunchy movement and dissolute glance at the abundant totty to the maximum.
The sub-plot, with militant everything, Regina (which rhymed, in this instance, with, as Stacee put it, ‘pussy’!), a great performance by Leah Farmer, and the Germanic twosome, father and son, Hertz and Franz Klineman (Ian Taylor and Rob Tilke), was great fun – and Franz’ eventual wooing of the formidable Regina came as a genuine surprise: I, along with everyone else, had assumed that he batted for the other side, as it were!
The dancers – waitresses, Rock band members, Mayors and other Rock types – were brilliant, choreographed to perfection by Nina Blackwell.
The musicians – who included Richard Lennox (whom I taught many years ago!) – were excellent and their take on the eighties American and British Rock scene was utterly in keeping with the time throughout.
It was lovely to see Craig Sillick (whom I also taught – even longer ago!) gyrating as one of the dancers, strumming a guitar as one of Stacee Jaxx’s band and gesticulating splendidly as the Mayor. He has more than fulfilled his early promise as a thespian.
Replete with luminescent light sticks, the audience yelled and screamed and clapped and ululated. I even witnessed a group of eighties-vintage ‘girlies’ singing along to some of the songs, bless their hearts – and I strongly suspect everyone had at least a warble at that Rock classic ‘Cum on feel the Noize’; I certainly did!
I drove home, under a nearly-full moon, on a total high: Ears ringing, smiling like a lunatic, replaying the colourful spectacle I had just left and delighted that the kind act of a friend had given me such a happy and inspiring evening.
Sherrie, Drew and Dennis…