Rachel Lumberg – Rachel
Alison Fitzjohn – Claire
Emily Joyce – Heather
Jayne McKenna – Zoe
Faye Christall – Young Rachel
Katy Clayton – Young Heather
Rachelle Diedericks – Debbie
Sarah Kate Howarth – Young Claire
Lauren Jacobs – Young Zoe
Curtis T Johns
Venue: Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Date: Wednesday 11th April 2018
The Band is a new musical which features the music of boyband Take That. The show can really be fit into two parts as to begin with we are transported back to 1993 when The Band were first a hit with Rachel as a 16-year-old and enjoying life with her friends, attending their first concert together but 25 years later everything didn’t really go to plan for them. The vow of always staying in touch was quickly broken and a chance competition and the boys bring them back together again.
I actually really like that they decided to have this type of story for the musical and it wasn’t just focused on Take That as a band in that form of musical. I thought the placement of the songs and moments worked out very well. Let’s face it Take That were the first big boyband within pop music and in the 90s they really were something else. I was slightly too young to really get into all of this and found myself more in the Girl Power era with the Spice Girls a few years later. But I can easily understand why this has sold so well for the tour and the West End stay towards the end of the year, fans don’t leave a band/group.
With the first part of the show focusing on the girls as teenagers and making promises on what will become of their lives we all know that it just wasn’t going to work out that way, nothing ever really goes to a plan does it? Rachel always wanted to get married but she then struggled to get to this moment. This does create some rather heartbreaking and heartwarming moments all rolled into one. That was something that the show offered in terms of the story having plenty of emotional moments that really get you thinking about the life choices you have made and what you will make.
My favourite and standout musical number had to be Shine, that song just worked so well in with that moment in the show and the lyrics are pretty good as well. This was something that was done throughout the show, the song fitting in with the story unfolding on stage. As well as showing just how much the band and the boys meant to Rachel even 25 years later still providing her comfort.
Even though the title of the show is The Band and everything is focused around them it is not really about them, if that even makes any sense at all. It is about the girls and now women who were touched and influenced by the music. So when watching the show you will see the boys in all different roles to have them in each and every scene, with a few opportunities to take centre stage. It has a lot of heart and the reactions from the huge fans in the audience were very impressive to watch. I can therefore fully understand the love towards this show and why it is going to do so well across the whole the UK and allowing people to travel back in time to simpler times.
Performance wise it is tough to try and pick a standout as the four leading ladies work so fantastically together along with the young versions of the characters as well. I think that was something that makes it work very well that everyone is on the same level supporting and complimenting each other in the best possible way.
The Band is currently on a UK Tour which is booking until March 2019 and it will have a brief stay in the West End over Christmas as part of the tour. Check out the dates and venues here.