Rock of Ages at New Wimbledon Theatre
With the excitable return to live theatre, the award-winning and iconic broadway musical, Rock Of Ages, is back for a new UK tour, gracing audiences with 80s smash-hit rock anthems and a cast of brilliantly accomplished performers.
With bright lights and neons signs illuminating the stage, the opulent Edwardian surroundings of New Wimbledon Theatre play host to a story that unfolds on Hollywood’s sunset strip in the 1980s. A fabled, seedy music venue called The Bourbon Room is at the heart of this show, where lovelorn couplings and aspiring dreams pair with comic innuendos and a fight for injustice.
The bar proprietor, Lenny (Joe Gash), takes the role of show compere. He’s jazz hands-ready and full of charm, weaving the audience through the story with his smouldering eyes and impish glee.
Rhiannon Chesterman convincingly plays Sherrie, a small-town girl with huge Hollywood dreams. She is joined by the bar’s handsome busboy Drew (Luke Walsh) who has naive ambitions of being a huge rock star. The two meet by chance and spend the rest of the show playing cat-and-mouse with their feelings amidst a range of spine-tingling, glass-shattering, romantic duets.
Strictly’s Kevin Clifton takes the role of rock god Stacee Jaxx but, although there are plenty of dance moves for the fans, his steamy scenes with Sherrie push the material out of the bounds of “family-friendly” with the racier numbers at the Venus Strip Club, led by powerful vocals from Justice (Jenny Fitzpatrick), feeling somewhat dated in current times.
Threatening the future of the sunset strip and the bar are European property developers Franz (Andrew Carthy) and Hetz (Vas Constani), who bring an unusual dose of humour to the plot. Think moments of questionable sexual orientation and a memorable, if perhaps bizarre dance number with eco-warrior Regina (Gabriella Williams).
Filled with high energy, brash jokes and some tender moments, the Rock Of Ages is a fun filled show and a hugely welcome return to live theatre.
Photos: The Other Richard
Rock of Ages is at New Wimbledon Theatre from 21st September until 25th September 2021. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.