The Band Musical, Could it be magic at Venue Cymru? Review
So before I start I must point out I’m not a big fan of Take That (ducks for cover), so when the chance came to see The Band Music at Venue Cymru I wasn’t really sure what I was going to be expecting, but with the good reviews going around for the show, I thought it would be an interesting show to check out.
David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers have brought the UK tour of Tim Firth’s new musical, The Band, with the music of Take That, to Venue Cymru this week and it is a show that I found myself enjoying so much more than I ever thought I would.
The Band is a musical that takes us on a journey with plenty of ups, downs, laughs and tears as we join five 16-year-old friends in 1992 and see what it was like to grow up with ‘the band’ and how their lives are centred around their love for the music and ‘the boys’.
The show is so nicely done as we are introduced to the characters in the form of a delightfully done flashback for the story set 25 years ago when the girls start their journey, then 25 years on, we are reunited with the group of friends, now 40-something women, as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes one more time.
As I mentioned at the start of this article, I’m not a fan of Take That, but the show is one that proves you don’t have to be, the production values of The Band are very high the set is beautifully designed to not only have great lighting, but it also has projections on the scenery to produce many memorable moments, the set also slides in and out giving the scenes that you would expect to be a big change, to be seamlessly done with panache.
What also stands out n this production is the cast, the 5 girls at the start of the story or played wonderfully by Faye Christall (Rachel), Katy Clayton (Heather), Sarah Kate Howarth (Claire), Lauren Jacobs (Zoe) and Rachelle Diedericks (Debbie). They have such a great on stage presence together and work wonderfully in bringing the characters that we are spending the evening with to life, we even get some lovely touches as they reappear with their older selves with great effect.
As we moved on to the older version of the girls, we are taking even further into their world as we have lots of funny moments that certainly had me laughing and even a moment that had a lonely tear making it’s way down my cheek in scenes that certainly started plucking on my heartstrings.
Rachel Lumberg (Rachel), Alison Fitzjohn (Claire), Emily Joyce (Heather) and Jayne McKenna (Zoe) again brought the older characters to life in a wonderful way, with them giving the feeling that they had indeed been friends that had lost touch and then found each other again, bringing more laughs to the audience, especially in a scene about a fountain in Prague, very funny.
Talking about the fountain, that was also very well done with the costume and special effects, certainly something that I wasn’t expecting during the show.
The Band is played by AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Yazdan Qafouri, Curtis T Johns and Sario Solomon, who, as Five to Five, won BBC’s Let It Shine. They put on a great performance throughout the show performing many of the Take That tracks, that the majority of the audience knew and were singing to, heck even I knew a few.
Take That said, “We are incredibly proud and excited that our first production as theatre producers is The Band – a musical that we think will touch the hearts of not just our fans, but everyone.”
The Band is a show that is such a joy to watch, even for a non Take That fan like myself, this is a show that you will never forget and it certainly shines. It’s full of big laughs and lots of tears, a sensational musical that not only brings back the nostalgia of the 90s, but will also have you leaving the theatre with a sense of being completely entertained.
This is a show that you don’t want to miss. The Band runs until the 25th November at Venue Cymru. Book your tickets online now: www.venuecymru.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01492 872000. There will also be a signed Performance on Thursday 23rd November 2017.