Janet Dibley – Jackie
Nicholas Bailey – Max
Graham Bickley – John
Daisy Steere – Young Jackie
Michael Hamway – David
Sam O’Hanlon – Keith
Tricia Adele Turner – Gemma
Lori Haley Fox – Jill
Bob Harms – Frankie
Venue: Sunderland Empire
Date: Saturday 9th July 2016 (2:30pm)
Jackie the Musical is a throw back to the 1970s fitting in as many songs from that era as possible into this very fun and funny show. The best thing about the songs? Well, they all fit perfectly into the story, this type if Jukebox musical has proven to be a very successful genre in musical theatre in recent years. This one is a very good addition, showing that you can indeed laugh when you would really like to cry about how your life is going.
The story of the show follows Jackie our main character who is a recent divorcee and still struggling to figure out what to do next in her life since her husband left her a year before, whilst also having to deal with a teenage son who’s only ambition is attempting to write songs and a best friend who constantly wants to set her up with a new man. Everything changes when clearing out old things and coming across her collection of Jackie Magazines from her teenage years. These help to shape and mould the story as seeing them brings back so many members and her younger self is shown to be well mortified to how her life turned out. Not anywhere near her hopes and dreams, but does anything really work out to plan?
I thought it was all put together in a fantastic way keeping the flow of the story and placement of the songs so perfect from start to finish. Whether it be in the living room of her house or wine bar she spends time with Jill. Don’t let thinking its just a nostalgic piece of musical theatre as it is not, it mixes everything in very well with the modern culture and society. Dating websites, Facebook and texting showing in comparison how it has gone from magazines with problem pages.
It’s very colourful and that has to be with the songs chosen to be part of the show. I am sure they spent ages actually narrowing it down, but from what they picked the 1970s certainly seemed like such a fun time to be alive! It kinda makes you rather jealous when you think about the current music today – will any of that be worthy of a musical in 40 years time? Hmm I very much doubt it.
Janet Dibley was very good in the leading role and belted out her songs with such passion with a very strong acting performance to go with it, considering her character was pretty much having a mid-life crisis. I thought Daisy Steere was a standout performer in a somewhat small role as the younger Jackie but her vocals seemed very impressive and I could not help but think she would be a great choice for Glinda in Wicked in the future!
Michael Hamway has a brilliant character in David who really does grow throughout the show and gets to do a fantastic rendition of T-Rex/Marc Bolan’s 20th Century Boy and I have to admit because of my love for T-Rex it really was my favourite part. Maybe he could bring back that very show, that I saw a couple of years ago and has since disappeared.
One of the best things about seeing a musical like this is getting the reaction from the crowd. A crowd who are mainly made up of women who are reliving their youth for a couple of hours and certain songs had people very excited wanting to dance and sing-a-long. Don’t we all sometimes wish magazines were still the biggest form of gossip and communication?
Its nice to have a relaxed trip to the cinema with songs you already know but put together in a story. Parts are very sentimental, touch your heart, make you laugh and most of all make you want to dance!