I don’t see enough on stage.
Which is quite strange really, as I have always loved London theatre. Growing up in Covent Garden, my Dad made sure we went at least once a month. We saw every Musical, every play, every ballet production he could think of. Oh, and every Panto. But we don’t talk so much about that.
So, when the opportunity arises and someone offers me the chance to see a new(ish) show, I’ll bite their hand off. Which is what I did when we were offered tickets to see Rock of Ages at the Shaftesbury Theatre last week.
I’d heard good things about Rock of Ages from 99% of people who’d been to see it. I knew it starred Shayne Ward and Justin Lee Collins. I knew it was a tongue in cheek look at the LA rock scene in the 80’s. Other than that? I was happy to be surprised.
My friend and I arrived a little late and were ushered to our places just as the lights went down. We soon came to see the error of our ways when we realised everyone else in the audience had been handed a little mini lighter torch-thingy to raise aloft for the ballads before we were seated. Most upsetting. Luckily, the small boy behind us gave us one of his (yes, really, we stole toys off children) and we were ready to rock. Literally.
I won’t spoil the entire story for you because I want you to all go and see the show but I will outline it, in my usual vague style. The show is set at The Bourbon Bar on Sunset Strip in the 80’s – and club owner Dennis DuPree is fighting to save the plot from redevelopment. There’s a love story. There are a LOT of mullets. There are Germans. There are nearly naked ladies doing things on poles. There’s a hell of a lot of singing, and a fair amount of lighter waving. And there is SHAYNE WARDS CHEST.
Had to mention that really, didn’t I?!
Shayne plays the part of Stacee Jaxx brilliantly (and yes girls and gays, you definitely would). Justin Lee Collins is OK as Dennis DuPree, but the absolute star of the show for me (apart from that chest) was the narrator and Dennis’s right hand man – Lonny – played to absolute perfection by Simon Lipkin. Comic timing at it’s best. Loved him.
We laughed all the way through the show, sang along in places, got annoyed by how hot some of the dancers were and drank quite a lot of wine in the aisles (Errm yes. They deliver wine to your seat throughout the performance. HUGE win). It’s genuinely an excellent, ridiculous show, packed with childish humour, bad hair, great voices and Shayne Wards chest. But I think I may have mentioned that already??
Do I recommend it? Clearly. Take your mates. Take your lover. Take anyone (except maybe your 6 year old son – that small boy behind us was a little out of place…). Don’t take it seriously. Enjoy it. You’ll have a ball, I’m sure. It’s absurd fun at it’s finest.
(Check the website for show times and prices)