MusicalNorth East & YorkshireReview

Dreamgirls – Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Reviewer: Jacob Bush

Book and Lyrics: Tom Eyen

Music: Henry Krieger

Director: Casey Nicholaw

Dreamgirls tells the story of fictional pop group The Dreamettes and their journey to fame. It explores, at surface level, what makes a star and the impact that stardom, or the loss of it, can have on an individual. The show isn’t particularly heavy or deep and the plot isn’t hugely eventful. Regardless, it is very enjoyable and audiences can’t help but leave with a smile on their face, humming the songs on the way home. The hit West End production is now on an extensive UK tour, with a talented cast.

Casey Nicholaw directs and choreographs this production. The choreography is a highlight of this production and is brilliant fun to watch. The production is slick and feels very fast-paced, with no lengthy scene transitions. Tim Hatley’s set design means the show can keep moving quickly – there are no major set changes. At times, it does seem that some set pieces have been reduced or cheapened for the touring production of the musical. Hatley’s costumes, however, are stunning and extravagant, especially those for The Dreamettes in their various concert performances. They are truly beautiful, alongside Josh Marquette’s hair design.

Nicole Raquel Dennis leads the cast as Effie White. Her vocals are incredible and she brings the house down with her renditions of And I Am Telling You and I Am Changing. Dennis brings a beautiful youthfulness and naivety to the role that works really well. She portrays the character’s arc wonderfully and naturally. Completing the leading trio as Natalie Kassanga as Deena Jones and Paige Peddie as Lorrell Robinson. The trio bounce off each other superbly and their vocals blend together well. Kassanga’s vocals are beautiful to listen to and Peddie gets to showcase her powerful belt at certain moments. Kassanga’s characterisation of Deena is outstanding and she portrays the character’s journey and development really well.

They are joined by a sensational supporting cast. Dom Hartley-Harris is vocally strong as Curtis Taylor Jr. He is perfectly unlikeable, without falling anywhere near pantomime villain territory. Shem Omari James gives a heartfelt and passionate performance as C.C. White and Brandon Lee Sears adds a huge amount of energy to the show as Jimmy Early. His comic timing is great and his vocals are a delight to listen to. Jo Servi gives an excellent performance as Marty. His rapport with the rest of the cast is great.

Dreamgirls is a show packed full of fantastic original music and, despite not the most eventful plot, the cast keeps the audience fully engaged throughout. Be sure to catch this feel-good musical at your local theatre.

Runs until 19th March 2022

The Reviews Hub Score

Feel-good fun

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The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Jacob Bush. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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