Writer: Jay Osmond
Director: Shaun Kerrison
Book: Julian Bigg & Shaun Kerrison
The Osmonds; all-singing, all-dancing, fabulous, family pop group. Worldwide stars over multiple decades, they were unstoppable, and now Osmondmania has arrived in Bromley. If you love them for a reason, let the reason be this fantastic new musical written by Jay Osmond himself.
Showcasing their lives from their very first audition, to their roaring popularity with TV shows and chart-topping albums, they have success practically locked into their DNA. But unfortunately, it isn’t all smooth sailing. After a bad financial decision at the height of their fame, they lose everything, having to fight their way back to the top and secure their family reputation. A touching story, paired with brilliant renditions of classic hits, this show is a winner.
Crazy horses wouldn’t be able to keep away the screaming hordes of fans in the audience, swooning every time Donny graces the stage or bursting into applause whenever Merrill hits a high note. It’s clear the fanbase is still very much going strong, with this show converting anyone who is still on the fence about the band. Director Shaun Kerrison works impeccably with Jay’s story, weaving a succinct tale and presenting each aspect of their lives with delicacy and insight. The songs are well balanced alongside the narrative, stopping it from just being a generic tribute act and truly exploring the backstory behind the music.
Colourful, flashy and perfectly in keeping with the fashion of the time, set and costume designer Lucy Osborne has created a visual masterpiece. The various outfits are just as engaging as the narrative itself, each helping to further cement the era and match the bright, bubbly energy of the performance.
Jay (Alex Lodge) is superb as the show’s front-runner and narrator. His energetic, cheerful manner doesn’t go unnoticed during the two-hour long performance. Putting in just that 10% more effort during each dance routine makes him stand out and encapsulate the work ethic that the Osmonds had. Wayne (Danny Mattrass), Merril (Ryan Anderson) and Alan (Jamie Chatterton) all have the most emotive stories within the show, highlighting the negatives they experienced while being on the road and essentially losing most of their childhood to tour-buses and rehearsal studios. Donny (Joseph Peacock) and Marie (Georgia Lennon) have wonderful on-stage chemistry, especially during their world-famous duets.
And, just as impressive as the main actors, are the mini versions of each character that incorporate the childhood years. These talented youngsters (Jack Jones, Alfie Jones, Alfie Murray, Tom Walsh, Osian Salter and Fraser Fowkes) capture the audience’s hearts and add another dimension to the family-friendly performance. All of them expertly sing, dance and confidently portray their characters, all while looking adorable in their matching outfits and with their colour-coded lunchboxes.
Whether you’re a diehard Osmond fan or you’ve never heard of them, this wholesomely poptastic show is both informative, and fun for everyone. Don’t be the one bad apple that pretends that they’re not enjoying themselves, because at this show, it’s near enough impossible to be unimpressed. If you’re going to get a one way ticket to anywhere, then don’t go down by the lazy river, and don’t bother goin’ home – instead, get yourself over to Churchill Theatre for a feel-good evening of singing, dancing and snazzy costumes.
Runs until 30 April 2022