Rock of Ages Review

Bristol Hippodrome – until 20th April 2019

Reviewed by Lucy Hitchcock

4****

The ultimate jukebox musical has crashed into Bristol and you are guaranteed for a party! 

The story depicts two young people, Sherrie and Drew who wind up working together in a downtrodden bar named the ‘Bourbon Room’ and immediately begin to feel love for each other. Sherrie (Jodie Steele) is an aspiring actress who lands a waitressing job in the bar to cover her bills; while Drew (Luke Walsh) is an aspiring Rock Singer. After a less than romantic and somewhat awkward date, the pair part as friends, leading Sherrie to become a stripper in a gentleman’s club, where she meets one of her past lovers, Rock Star Staycee Jaxx (Antony Costa). Eventually, after much contemplation and a lot more singing, Drew and Sherrie end up rekindling their once powerful love.

This production is an amalgamation of stereotypical sex, drugs and Rock’n’roll with some immense talent and strength both vocally and physically. The show begins like you are in the audience of a major rock concert and immediately transports you back to the 1970’s – where everything is encouraged!

The stand out performance was undoubtedly Lucas Rush as ‘Lonny’, the outrageously eccentric Narrator of the show. He captured the audience from the get-go and not once, did he relinquish his control over us! He was funny, sexy, surprising and an extremely talented man! Breaking the fourth wall at any moment possible, he managed to bring tears of laughter to all privileged to be in the auditorium!

As a charismatic character, Regina (Rhiannon Chesterman) had stunning vocals that perfectly suited the rock genre. Her rendition of We’re Not Going to Take it left me fully speechless as she effortlessly soared through the score! Along with Andrew Carthy as ‘Franz’ an outrageous German, these two had spectacular rapport, that led to the audience howling with laughter! A perfectly cast pair! Steele and Walsh as Sherrie and Drew displayed outstanding vocals and perfectly matched harmonies – they enhance this very predictable and loose story line with phenomenal vocal abilities. Antony Costa as Stacee Jaxx also showed his vocal prowess and added to the story.

Zoe Birkett as Justice, the owner of the gentleman’s club where Sherrie is eventually recruited to has one outstandingly powerful voice. Her soul and passion radiated through into the audience and was easy to see why she was cast!

If you are in need of a little transportation to the good life, a full rock’n’roll show or just an amazing night, Lonny is sure to be waiting in Bristol for you!

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