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Thursday, 18 July 2019

Rock of Ages | Mayflower Theatre

I will readily admit that deep inside there is 80s rock lover just dying to get out. I've always had a bit of a thing for 80s rock music, mostly due to my dad playing it a lot while I was growing up, and when I was at college I was desperate to see Rock Of Ages when it was released in cinemas. Unfortunately, I never got round to it, but when I saw the musical was coming to the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton, I knew I'd have to attend. I was very grateful to receive an invitation to the show for Southampton Bloggers*.
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
As soon as the cast take to the stage, you are transported back to 1980s Los Angeles, the city built on rock and roll. The story centres around the fate of beloved rock venue The Bourbon Club, on LA's infamous Sunset Strip. Rock Of Ages is a classic love story - boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back - while also going above this to demonstrate the real power of love and the passion for rock and roll. All this, while set to a soundtrack packed full of classic 80s rock hits, like "Here I Go Again" and "Hit Me With Your Best Shot".
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre

We meet Drew, played by understudy Joshua Dever, who dreams of being a rocker while working at the renowned Sunset Strip rock venue The Bourbon Room. He then meets Sherrie, played by Jodie Steele, the classic small-town girl with big dreams of becoming an actress. As their romance begins to blossom, their place of work The Bourbon Room comes under threat, along with the rest of the Sunset Strip, from German developers. The show is narrated by Lonny, played by Lucas Rush, who was incredibly funny. He engaged the audience and kept us all laughing out loud. The show is very self-aware that it is a show, making comments about the 2012 film, and how they had to put on a good show. This just added to the comedy of the show - his little comments were some of the best in the show. I really loved Regina, played by Rhiannon Chesterton, the city planner turned protestor. She was so funny, I couldn't help but love the slightly geeky character who was a secret rock and roll fan - I related for sure! And of course, the household name of Strictly's Kevin Clifton as Stacee Jaxx, the self-obsessed lead singer of band Arsenal, was amazing. I found it really hard to match the character on stage with the personality I'm used to watching on a Saturday night. At times, I forgot it was even him. He did a really good job at bringing Stacee Jaxx to life - I was impressed.
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre

Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre

Now, be prepared - this show is packed full of tight leathers, short skirts and a lot of sexual innuendo. I have to admit, at the very beginning, I was a bit surprised at this - it just wasn't what I was expecting. But, once I got into the story, I quickly became immersed in the 80s-ness of the show and laughed, a LOT. Rock Of Ages really did transport the theatre back to the 1980s - the staging of Sunset Strip, the costumes and the songs! I couldn't help but tap my feet, clap along and have a little quiet sing to myself - an absolutely amazing show!
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre

Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre

Rock of Ages is on at the Mayflower Theatre until the 20th July. You can purchase tickets here, or by calling the Box Office on 02380 711811.

* My tickets to the show were complimentary in return for review. All views and opinions were my own.

Rock on,

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