It was a trip back to the sixties today as I popped by to check out All Or Nothing, written by Carol Harrison.
All Or Nothing tells the electrifying yet bittersweet tale of Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan, Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott; four charismatic young kids from East London with humour, attitude, passion and above all talent. They became The Small Faces and were rocketed into the big time, only to discover the path to fantastic success is paved with exploitation, betrayal and ultimately tragedy.
The show opened to critical acclaim and nightly standing ovations at the Vaults Theatre in London in March 2016 and extended its sold-out run before embarking on its first UK tour, opening at The Hawth Crawley and playing through to November at venues including the Manchester Opera House, Theatre Royal Norwich and the Rose Theatre Kingston, with its final performance at the Forum Theatre in Billingham. Now it was the turn of the Rhyl Pavilion to have the show.
So I made my way to my great seat for the show, row D-21 have a fantastic view of the stage at almost perfect eye level for the afternoon’s performance.
The theatre also had a good turn out for a matinee show with a quarter of the seats taken. A varied age group were in to see the show, with everyone excited to see the show on a Wednesday afternoon.
My hope before the show is that I would enjoy it as much as “Sunny Afternoon“, the story of The Kinks, that was on at Venue Cymru, bring a fan of the music that was going to be in All or Nothing, I was looking forward to the show.
The first act of the show saw us being introduced to how the band for together and their ride to popularity in Rhett be the mid-60s, from signing to a record producer to them knocking the Beatles off the number one of the got parade with the title track, All or Nothing.
The first act was not only accompanied by some great music but also some good performances from the cast as they brought us the band’s ups and downs during their journey.
The second act took us on a darker journey as the band yet again get taken for a ride by their record label and find themselves without any money for the tour and work that they have just done, as the story progresses our host, throughout the play, an older version of Steve Marriott (played by Chris Simmons) moves deeper and deeper into the dark times and becomes drunker as he tells the story of the band’s rise and fall.
The cast of the show, with Carol Harrison playing Kay Marriott at certain performances with Stefan Edwards as Kenney Jones, Russell Floyd as Don Arden, Josh Maddison as Ian McLagan, Joseph Peters as Jimmy Winston, Samuel Pope as Young Steve Marriott, Chris Simmons as Steve Marriott and Stanton Wright as Ronnie Lane. The cast also includes Daniel Beales, Sophia Behn, Melissa Brown-Taylor, Daisy Darvill, Fran Dearlove, Katie Faye, Alexander Gold, Danielle Johnson and Martin Teall put on a stellar performance with a passion for the material that Carol has written.
Add into the mix, the music of the Small Faces which many of us know and we have an exciting, enjoyable and somewhat emotional play that will not only have you tapping your toes and singing to the songs but also have you welling up with maybe a stray tear attempting to roll down your cheek.
“It’s a real honour to be able to bring the extraordinary world of The Small Faces back to the fans and to a brand new audience, young and old. Audiences have embraced the chance to enjoy a bit of mod nostalgia and the critics have all acknowledged the vivid underground vibe on stage as we bring the 60s scene into sharp focus. Our live band and cast tell the story of the rise and fall of the band, a journey as colourful as their sound, and get to showcase an amazing catalogue of music – hard edged R&B. This is music which influenced a generation of musicians from Paul Weller and The Jam to Oasis, Blur, The Verve and The Arctic Monkeys, not to mention millions of fans. We’ve found an amazingly loyal fan base and are thrilled to be bringing the show back across England, into Wales and into Scotland for the first time. Book now– it’s truly an experience of a lifetime!” – Carol Harrison
Chris Simmons’ performance as the older Steve and the guide through the story really stood out as he not only guided us through the story but also moved around the stage as a spirit of the future stepping back into the past, a lovely touch and a joy to watch as the cast didn;t even respond to him on the stage, fantastic!
Chris Simmons is probably best known for playing the role of DC Mickey Webb for over twelve years in the long-running ITV series The Bill. He has also appeared in EastEnders as Mark Garland, a love interest for Kat Moon and in the Tracy Beaker spin-off CBBC show, The Dumping Ground. Russell Floyd first came to public attention as market inspector Michael Rose in EastEnders a role he played from 1996 to 1999, and subsequently played DC Ken Drummond in the ITV police drama, The Bill, from 2002 to 2005. He also starred in Jonathan Ford’s 2016 movie Offensive.
The show features some very memorable tracks including Whatcha Gonna Do About It, Tin Soldier, Lazy Sunday, Here Comes the Nice, Itchycoo Park and of course All or Nothing. It has also been endorsed and supported by many of those who feature in its story, including singer P.P. Arnold and Steve Marriott’s daughter Mollie Marriott, who is the show’s vocal coach.
The production of All Or Nothing works very well and brings the story of the Smal Faces to life very well, great lighting and sound all add to the experience.
A very enjoyable show and one that you will want to see if it comes to a theatre near you.