Rock of Ages at New Wimbledon Theatre
For many young hopefuls wishing to break into the Hollywood scene, life is not an easy feat, not least for small town girl Sherrie (Jodie Steele), who must swap Kansas for LA if she is to pursue her greatest dream – acting. But this is Sunset Boulevard we are talking about, the Sunset Strip of the 1980s, the whereabouts of clubs, go-go dancers and rock stars – not quite the Tinseltown that Sherrie originally had in mind. And so, in a trajectory that sees the starlet being progressively stripped of her innocence, there is one thing that no amount of limelight can ever steal: true love – with none other than her soulmate and life partner, Drew (Luke Walsh).
Screen-to-stage adaptation, Rock of Ages promises a night of fun, laughter and sing-along at the theatre for all those wishing to take a trip down memory lane and see a selection of their favourite 80s musical hits make a comeback in an informal and cabaret-esque setting. Immersive from start to finish, largely due to the exceptionally gifted Lucas Rush as Lonny, whose authenticity and wit as both narrator and performer break the fourth wall and supply the plot with all the warmth it needs to be able to counteract the overly erotic nature of the show, Rock of Ages succeeds in making up for some of the shortcomings that arise in its generic storyline.
Strong in its vocal delivery, impeccable with its costume design, and precise in its rock star swagger, the spectacle sends a wave of nostalgia around the auditorium, for all those who were around in the heyday of bands such as Starship and REO Speedwagon, as well as creating an aura of discovery for all current and future generations who are en route to becoming better acquainted with them.
Photo: Richard Davenport