It had a roller-coaster of emotions, famous stars and yet the play was still lacking something
The 1990 iconic film has been given a very broadway-esque makeover. Composed with modern staging and group choreography numbers the production really pulls the tragic love story into the 21st century. Lovers of the film or complete newbies, you should not have any issues with the portrayal of the plot, which still presents the beautiful yet heart-breaking story of Molly Jensen (Sarah Harding) and Sam Wheat (Andy Moss) and does not fail to live up to its tear-jerking reputation.
Both Harding and Moss are stars in their own right, the former being one fifth of the noughties pop-favourites ‘Girls Aloud’, and the latter playing a young heartthrob in soap ‘Hollyoaks’. This will have inevitably attracted crowds to the production, but seemed to serve as a hindrance beyond that. Their chemistry together is undoubtable, and yes, they do make a very attractive and believable, young, in-love couple – however, their inconsistent accents do start to get slightly cringe-worthy by mid-way through the first half, so perhaps Molly’s lack of dialogue in the second half is a blessing. Harding has been hitting the headlines for her lack lustre performance, but I do not think people can say she was that bad – ‘Three little words’, her duet with Moss was moving and her voice was by far the strongest.
The undoubtable star of the show comes in the form of Oda Mae Brown (Jacqui Dubois) who brings much needed humour and likeability. She had the theatre in the palm of her hands, and her chemistry with Moss was very believable; without her, the production would have struggled.
Overall, as cliché as it sounds, the production did take the audience on a real roller-coaster of emotions. However, don not get your hopes up for a sensual and romantic rendition of ‘Unchained Melody’ behind a pottery wheel, as that iconic scene was a real blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment.