Alison Arnopp – Jeanie
Tom Bales – Glowy/Margaret Mead
Louise Francis – Raven
Natalie Green – Cassie
David Heywood – Jackson
Bradley Judge – Woof
Aiseha Pease – Dionne
Jake Quickenden – Berger
Laura Sillett – Helena
Spin – Hud
Kelly Sweeney – Crissy
Paul Wilkins – Claude
Daisy Wood Davis – Sheila
Venue: Sunderland Empire
Date: Tuesday 7th May 2019
This is the 50th Anniversary tour of Hair, a musical which is regarded as groundbreaking and something that managed to change theatre and musicals forever. That is at least what I have read after seeing the show, it certainly is not one that I loved.
I guess I went in a little blind really so on arrival at the theatre I bought a programme so I could at least read a little background on the story. Hippies in the US and getting onto the government about war, the Vietnam war at that. Talk of being high all the time and just quite frankly well loving life. I kinda felt that this musical should have just stayed 50 years ago, it has not aged well at all.
I knew one song going in and that was Aquarius which just so happened to be the opening number, I am not sure if that was a good or a bad thing. Because after that I had no idea of the songs, sometimes though that can work in your favour when you hear something that is truly brilliant. That did not happen however, none of the songs were memorable for me. Each character gets a moment to tell there story in a brief musical number.
I just didn’t like any of the characters which was probably why I didn’t really get into the show. I think they are just too far away from any of our reality now and that is why I never really connected with any of them. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t find some of the performances to be good though, as I realise how harsh that sounds. My dislike was not for the performances as so many talented people are involved in this show, it is just for the story which doesn’t even serve as a history lesson as just seems lost in time.
The standout performer for me was Paul Wilkins as Claude I felt as though he showed such a truly incredible stage presence from start to finish.
When you research the musical it is described as The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. I don’t know if that would have been a good indicator before or not. Something I do love about theatre is that sometimes you just don’t like or get the production you are watching. I am now at a point where I feel that I can admit when I just didn’t like something, we all like different things and some shows I love and adore others hate. But I gave this a go and I will continue to do the same for all shows that I have not currently seen.
Have you seen Hair before? If so how did you find it?