Quays Theatre, The Lowry, Manchester – 28 September 2019
Reviewed by Ian K Johnson
Written by Salfords own Melanie Blake and starring Beverley Callard (Roxanne), Sandra Marvin (Carley), Coleen Nolan (Anita), Carol Harrison (Chrissie) and Gary Webster as Rick.
The stage is set in Chrissie’s luxurious house ready for the reunion of a top rock band of feisty woman who were big stars back in the day.
Once top of their game, all friends and going to be the band we would all remember. But due to various ups and downs, fights amongst each other the band is no longer.
Now we are in the present day, 30 years forward and a big meeting/reunion could be on the cards. The room is part of the big house Chrissie owns, a beautiful chase lounge and red sofa in the shape of lips dominate the room. Various tables with bottles of champagne are there free for all to drink. This could be a night to remember.
Carley enters the room looking for Chrissie, no sign of her or anyone else so she ventures in and on seeing photos on the wall of a young Chrissie, alongside gold discs of hers and one gold disc belonging to the Thunder Girls Carley sings of the past and what could have been.
Other band members (Roxanne and Chrissie) eventually join Carley in the room and start going over old memories both good and not so good. We find out that Chrissie took the main role when sorting out royalties and recognition for the songs that Thunder Girls sang, yet it was Carley who wrote them lock stock and barrel. Roxanne had been dating the bands manager (Rick) but somehow he dumped her for Chrissie. The evening has been planned as Rick wants the band to reform for a tour that some promoter is hoping to get on the road. The money they will get from the promoter would give some financial stability to all concerned. Even if it means splitting the money and not including the missing band member Anita, who apparently cant be located and rumoured to be living in Spain. She moved to Spain after a very embarrassing time representing England in the Eurovision Song Contest, embarrassing in the fact due to having a spiked drink she was sick on stage in front of the world watching Eurovision.
Old wounds go very deep for all concerned. We also find out through the evening that Roxanne has a son which seems to be Ricks. Although no one knew this secret. Act one ends with Chrissie and Roxanne having a full on cat fight, hair pulling and dress disasters just as Anita appears at the back of the room.
Act two sees some kind of peace and harmony in the room, all band members are aware of the proposed reunion for Thunder Girls, some are in others are out. We are left to find out that Chrissie is also in need of the reunion and financial benefit as her young ‘toy boy’ husband has fleeced her out of everything and she may even be losing the house that she loves so much. Chrissie lets Carley know that she will speak to the promoter and say to let others know any publicity is to include Carley’s name as writer of the bands songs.
In turn all four band members decide they will reform for their own benefit, that is until Rick turns up and lets them know the promoter is going ahead and doing the show but no longer needs Thunder Girls input.