The Cher Show Review

Nottingham Theatre Royal – until Saturday 11 June 2022

Reviewed by Louise Ford


The Cher Show is based on the book by Rick Elice and charts the roller coaster musical career of the legend that is Cher. The story is told through three versions of Cher . The early years as Babe, the middle years as Lady and the later years as Star. It’s a story of rags to riches, reinvention, love and lost love which charts the music industry from the laid back relaxed days of the 1960s, through the ballads and disco years of the 1970s and 1980s to the multimedia dance songs of the 1990s.

It cleverly weaves its way from her humble beginnings in El Centro California as a gauche unhappy teenager bullied  at school for her looks . To one of the biggest music stars in the world.

Unlike her mother and the rest of the kids in California she has black hair and olive skin. Thanks to her father, who she adored, who is Armenian. He left the family home and she is brought up by her mother Georgia (Tori Scott) a constant in Cher’s life. She has a fine voice and delivers some great songs.

The young Cher is played by understudy Jasmine Jules Andrews who meets the confident entertainer and singer Sonny Bono (Lucas Rush ) in 1964 when she is only 18. She is shy and awkward, hiding behind her iconic fringe and needing the security of Sonny by her side. They get together and the partnership of Sonny and Cher is born. It becomes clear that music industry is stacked against her as she signs agreements and deals which deprive her of not only her choices, but also any profits.

Exhausted and worn down with constantly working Babe finally says no more! She gets the inner confidence as Lady (Danielle Steers) to embark on a solo career. The middle years move through the figure hugging costumes, another marriage, another child and a career reboot as a movie star. Cher won an Oscar for her role in Moonstruck.

The final stage of Cher’s professional life is played out as Star (Debbie Kurup), the icon is well and truly born. The costumes are more revealing and outrageous, the hair is more styled and tweaked. Whilst this Cher is outwardly more confident she still seems to be searching for love and professional reassurance. This final part is tinged with real sadness.

All three actors playing Cher are amazing, they are on the stage nearly the whole time supporting and doubting, the inner voice questioning decisions and choices. It’s a really clever way of highlighting the uncertainty and doubt that surrounds artists and musicians.

The fabulous finale when all three Chers perform Believe and the audience gets to join in is a fitting end to a great night out.

The ensemble are all dressed in identical camp pill box hats, cut away studded tops and bell bottoms, they are a perfect backdrop to Cher’s increasingly outrageous costumes. The show is directed by Arlene Phillips and choreographed by Oti Mabuse. The ensemble help chart the progressing years with the dates on various boards, mirrors and signs.

The set picks up the very essence of Cher, it is a giant walk-in wardrobe with rails of hidden clothes and shelves of polystyrene heads show casing her wigs.

All in all a fabulous night, great and powerful performances, outrageous costumes, so much velvet, glitter, sequins and flesh revealing mesh, high heeled over the knee boots and iconic hair!