I have been very privileged to have been able to travel to Europe with my family over the past month. Mostly to see family, but we were also able to squeeze in a few shows!
I’ve written a blog/review for each…
Review 2 – Back to the Future the Musical, Adelphi Theatre, London
Being a Back to the Future tragic from way back, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see it live onstage. I saw the second film with my family in England in 1989, we introduced our kids to the movies when they were old enough, and we even had a party to celebrate “the future” on 21st October 2015. So we had to all see the musical when deciding what West End show to see in London.
We weren’t disappointed! A great tribute to the first movie, with a few necessary plot point changes and some extra songs. Roger Bart as Doc was brilliant, he was so at home on the stage and had lots of interactive moments with the audience (which may or may not have been written into the show – who knows?). His performance was hilarious and faultless. He even had some quips about covid! Marty McFly was played by the understudy that night, Will Haswell, and I'm not sure if his performance was lacking or the characterisation didn't allow him to be anything but an attempted carbon copy of Michael J Fox. He emulated the squeak in his voice, but I didn't feel he commanded the stage and truly owned it. It was a solid performance but left me wanting a bit more.
The ladies were incredible – Amber Davies as Lorraine was simply perfect and Sophie Naglik as Jennifer both just shone, and their voices! Oliver Nicholas as George McFly was identical to that in the film, and the audience loved him for it. His first moments evoked big laughs and he had the audience in the palm of his hand throughout. The ensemble were terrific, bringing to life many highlights from the movie but also adding new splashes of colour and vibrancy, We were exhausted at the end! The only casting faux par for us was Harry Jobson as Biff. While he looked the part, he was rather clunky and one dimensional and he couldn't really sing very well. A bit disappointing.
Visually the show was stunning, with never ending lighting effects, copious costumes and clever set changes made the show fly by (pun intended) and truly captured both the 80s and the 50s of Hill Valley. The final scene was breathtaking as the De Lorean took flight to head towards 2015.
Such an energetic, clever, feel good show. I highly recommend for lovers of the movies. While it's not the greatest piece of musical theatre I've ever seen, it ticked a lot of boxes for us and the entire family loved every minute. Book in if you are heading to London in the near future, or the Broadway show starts end of June (with Roger Bart).