20th Century Boy The Musical is based on the life of Marc Bolan and his rise to fame with T. Rex and also his untimely death. The format of the show takes place with Rolan Bolan searching for answers to who his father was and how his life was. His mother Gloria is still struggling with grief after all those years. We take the journey with Rolan from Marc’s childhood, trying to make it in the music world and then the formation and success of T. Rex during the Glam Rock era.
At 26 years old I was one of the youngest people in the theatre to see the musical, believe it or not I am a massive fan of Marc Bolan and T. Rex. Something that was influenced by may parents (especially my dad) love for the music. I used to listen to it as a child and in my teens I really got into the glam rock era. So it is music I wish I had been a part of at the time. While I thought I knew a lot about T. Rex and the main man himself, this musical will really put everything together and helps to show how big T. Rex really were.
Warren Sollars took on the task of being Marc in this show and he really was impressive throughout, as he aged throughout the show to help paint a picture of the different stages of his life. Showing the boy he was and relationship with his family and how he managed to succeed at a pretty wild and crazy time for music.
The songs are worked into the show in different ways, some are done as normal rock band like performances and others are done as musical numbers with many different characters singing. I thought this balance was brilliant and the musical numbers really did hit hard and create some very emotional scenes. Cosmic dancer with both Marc and Rolan singing was a particular highlight. Along with Life’s A Gas for the wedding scene to June.
I guess we already know that Marc was never perfect and his affair with Gloria is shown and the scene with June finding out was actually difficult to watch. It felt like something you shouldn’t actually be seeing. It was handled in a fantastic way and so heartbreaking as well. Leading to a very impressive rendition of Teenage Dream. With both women singing it with Marc lying on the floor, very powerful. Donna Hines and Lucy Sinclair both had fantastic voices, and really brought an extra edge to everything.
It has to be one of the most fun shows to attend, die-hard fans in the audience singing along and really enjoying the ride. It had a little bit of everything as well, I wasn’t really sure how things were going to be handled before going in it’s not shy and really goes for it at times. A little bit of swearing and raunchy at times but that’s what makes it even better, it’s more real. It really captures the music in such a fantastic way and I think more people should know the name Marc Bolan and T. Rex as when you mention them now people don’t know who you’re talking about. This show could easily introduce this incredible music to new generations.
I really hope it gets transferred to the West End and it takes off. I would certainly be travelling down to London to see this show again when it starts! Not forgetting to mention after the emotional ending, having fun everyone up dancing to four songs and singing along. It really is a special show that I hope gets the credit it deserves. I wish I could go again already!