Jackie the Musical – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Book: Mike James

Director: Anna Linstrum

Reviewer: Hannah Powell

Jackie The Musical is an explosion of colour, sights, and sounds thrown onto the stage in a way that’s pure seventies. It incorporates popular songs such as 20th Century Boy and Enough is Enough into a love story we can all relate to, and entices audience members to get up and move their Tiger Feet.

The main protagonist Jackie (Janet Dibley) is getting ever closer to the dreaded fifty mark and is hopelessly looking for love after her marriage ended on a sour note. With encouragement from her son, David (Michael Hamway), and her best friend, Jill (Lori Haley Fox), a randomly dialled number sends her on a date with who she thinks might be the one. But things aren’t always as they seem and the interference from her younger self (Daisy Streere) doesn’t appear to be helping much either.

The cast leap and bound across the stage hitting every accent of the choreography and enthralling their audience with every move from impressive lifts to the classic hip thrusts. The songs bring back that sense of nostalgia for anyone who experienced the seventies or has ever listened to one of their parents’ records. The numbers fit beautifully with the narrative and are performed to the best of the actors’ abilities.

Even the occasional dodgy note doesn’t take away their showmanship as they pour their emotions into the musical numbers. Bob Harms, in particular, is certainly very talented in the comedy department as he has the audience laughing their heads off through his renditions of Puppy Love, and I Love to Boogie.

Technically the show is impressive with flashing lights in an array of colours, moving staircases, and a set which is easily modified into each location. The costumes are appropriate for the time period and each member of the cast stands out against the background. On occasion, though, the music is too loud and voices are lost during songs, which is disappointing, however, the cast powers on and doesn’t let it phase them

Overall this piece will have audiences riding their Crazy Horses and loving to love Jackie.

Runs until 28 May 2016 and on tour| Image:Pamela Raith

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