The Royal & Derngate, Northampton – until 7th May 2022
Reviewed by Ely King
One family, one hundred million records, everyone has heard of the Osmonds one way or another.
Whether you know the name from Jimmy, The Donny and Marie show, or The Osmonds group themselves, the family are worldwide superstars in their own right.
Written by Jay Osmond, this new musical follows the family from the quartet of young boys up to their legendary 2007 reunion. This includes all from the addition of young Donny, introduction to Jimmy and through to the Donny and Marie show before the catastrophic bankruptcy crisis.
In the performance, there were a few different understudies onstage, all of which were amazing in their roles.
For this performance the roles of The Osmonds were:
Alan: Young – Charlie Stripp / Adult – Alex Cardall
Merrill: Young – Joey Unitt / Adult – Ryan Anderson
Jay: Young – Charlie Tumbridge / Adult – Alex Lodge
Wayne: Young – Thomas Ryan / Adult – Danny Natrass
Donny: Young – Nicholas Teixeira / Adult – Tristan Whincup
Jimmy: Young – Harrison Skinner / Adult – Sam Routley
Throughout the entirity of the show, Alex Lodge is easily the shining star in this production as Jay Osmond. Whilst it’s expected he be at the forefront, as the show is written by Jay, he positively gives his all from beginning to end.
Even during flashback scenes where Lodge stands at the back, he can be seen mimings and mimicking the moves the youngsters are doing, as if he is genuinely reliving those memories himself, it’s those little details that make his portrayal so successful.
Whilst all of the American accents were iffy at times, Alex seemed to take it in his stride – though you could definitely tell he has time as ‘Elder Price’ by his tone.
Vocally, another standout was Ryan Anderson as Merrill. His vocal range is astounding.
From the rough gravelly tone to the incredible high notes, he took every single opportunity to show off his phenomenal talent. Anderson’s solo track ‘Traffic In My Mind’ featured some haunting notes and was a genuinely captivating performance.
He and Lodge were the backbone of the entire production.
Though the other siblings weren’t shining stars, that doesn’t mean they were inherently bad, they just didn’t have the same charisma as the other duo. Tristan Whincup and Danny Natrass certainly had their odd moment to shine, it’s a shame they weren’t given more of an opportunity to do so.
The scripting definitely favours Jay and villainises Merrill and Alan, for sure.
Not to be forgotten, their kid sister Marie, played by Georgia Lennon, had some good moments in the show also, but for the most part she was just awkwardly dancing behind the brothers, and when she was up front it seemed as if she over-acted to make up for lack of time in the spotlight.
As a whole, the brothers were the main focus in the costuming department, every single scene they were in they were dressed impeccably, it’s just a shame that level of care and detail wasn’t maintained throug the rest of the cast like they deserved.
Saving the best till last, the young Osmonds are absolutely adorable, and incredibly talented. Young Donny Osmond is a cheeky lil chap and a true star. If the six kids are all so talented already, they are going to go very far in the industry and I can’t wait to see where they end up.
Whilst the show wasn’t a hit for me, that shouldn’t deter fans of The Osmonds. You will probably understand a lot more of the hints and sly digs than a non-Osmond fanatic like myself.