Back to the Future at Adelphi Theatre
Get ready to go back to the future and change musical history. Arriving in the West End at 88mph, with the biggest of bangs, is Back to the Future: The Musical.
Hill Valley, 1985: Doctor Emmett Brown has built a time machine out of a Delorean and invited Marty McFly to document its very first trip. But disaster strikes and Marty accidentally ends up taking the machine back 30 years, getting stuck in 1955 and messing up the timeline by encountering his parents. He seeks out the 30-year younger Doc Brown, and they form a plan to reset history and get Marty back home.
This isn’t a replica of the movie, which was just about as perfect as any movie can be. Rather this is a tribute that constantly nods and winks at the audience, sharing a love of the film and making it a bit more of a comedy. But it mostly follows the same story, with only a few details changed. For example, 1985 Doc contends with radiation poisoning instead of terrorists (which does seem like an odd choice). And, of course, a bunch of songs are thrown in for extra pizazz.
The new songs are fine and certainly add some entertainment value, but there are no real standout numbers. The Doc’s songs tend to hit with a bit more oomph but it’s just not a show that’ll have people rushing to YouTube afterwards to listen to the soundtrack again and again. And that feels like a shame – like the songs aren’t quite living up to everything else here.
Olly Dobson is a great Marty, pretty true to the Michael J Fox version, while Roger Bart brings a slightly different flavour to Doc Brown that works brilliantly. They’re supported by incredible performances from Hugh Coles (making a remarkable West End debut as the awkward George McFly) and West End musical veterans like Rosanna Hyland (playing Lorraine Baines) and Cedric Neal (Goldie Wilson).
But the real star of the show is the Delorean. Every time it’s on stage is just pure glory, from screeching around the stage, as Marty gets it up to 88mph, to a mega ending that no one will forget in a hurry. The whole team for props, sets, sound design and special effects really need to win all the awards for this wow-inducing show.
Back to the Future: The Musical is a spectacular homage to the original movie. It’s not perfect but it is amazing. The kids are gonna love it.
Back to the Future is at Adelphi Theatre from 29th September until 3rd July 2022. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.