Revisiting two musicals: All change on the Strand for Dreamgirls & Kinky Boots

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

Come mid-January, the Strand will look a fair bit different for theatregoers as both Kinky Boots and Dreamgirls have posted advance closing notices, leaving the Adelphi and the Savoy respectively on the same date, Saturday 12 January 2018.

As sad as it is to see any show close though, both of these musicals have had a fairly decent run (Kinky Boots opened in August 2015, making it nearly three and a half years; Dreamgirls in November 2016, reaching two) and given how merciless the commercial market can be, I think both productions can hold their head up high with their West End runs.

And getting ahead of the game with those closing notices means that people still have many the opportunity to catch either or both of these shows before the final curtain. (I should add too, that both shows have announced that they will be touring the UK going into 2019.)

I’ve paid both a revisit relatively recently and am happy to report that they both remain well worth seeing, due to some mighty fine performance. Oliver Tompsett has only just stepped into the role of Charlie Price but he is nigh-on perfect casting and his majestic voice suits Cyndi Lauper’s score down to a T and he’s clearly getting on well with Simon-Anthony Rhoden’s impressive Lola.

Over at the Savoy, I caught Marisha Wallace as Effie and she is a comic delight as well as a vocal powerhouse, really impressing me in this iconic role, but it is Asmeret Ghebremichael’s Lorrell who is show-stealingly, worth-the-price-of-a-decent-ticket levels of excellent. For me, the production as a whole has lost a little of the magic sparkle that its opening cast carried off so effortlessly and some of the characterisations in Kinky feel a little tired but then, I’ve seen both shows multiple times before and so I’m hardly the best judge there.

And I can’t be too mad about the prospect of two big houses coming free for new shows – I wonder what will be filling them in the New Year – plays from the National (The Lehman Trilogy) or perhaps the Donmar (Jean Brodie) or maybe a big musical or two from Broadway (Anastasia, Waitress). Leave your thoughts in the comments below…

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Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
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Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on RssIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."

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