Reviewed by Sasha Nye
The Theatre Royal in Brighton is probably one of my favourite theatres to go to. I love how traditional it is, the ambience, the decor. Even with its traditional appearance it fits in really well in the unique and Diverse Brighton. It really puts you in the right mood for whatever show you are going to see. The staff are always very polite, friendly, extremely well presented and on hand to help with any query that you may have. A bonus is that it’s minutes walk from car parks and local transport.
Hair the Musical is a rock musical set in New York in the late 1960’s. It was a product of the hippie culture and the sexual revolution of that time alongside the anti-Vietnam war peace movement. This musical caused much controversy with its profanity, use of illegal drugs, the use of nude scenes, references to sexuality and its disregard to the American flag. The music was also ground-breaking for its time.
It tells the story of the “tribe“, a group of long haired politically active hippies of the ‘age of Aquarius‘ living in New York City, detailing their fight against the Vietnam war. Claude, Berger, Sheila and their friends struggle with their parents, society, loves and try to balance their young lives all whilst trying to avoid being in enlisted into a war that they strongly disagree with.
So, since I left the theatre last night I have been racking my brain on what to write. This production definitely delivered on all of the original controversial parts of the musical. The profanity, references to sexuality, depiction of illegal drugs and nudity are all there and accounted for. They certainly didn’t shy away from any of that. I was a little unsure if Hair would be something I would enjoy but I can honestly say that I loved it. The cast, each and every one, were exceptional. From the way they worked together, the individual performances, the vocals and the interaction with the audience. Jake Quickenden, Berger, made my mums birthday when he danced ‘on her‘ during the musical number Hair.
The cast were supported by a very talented set of musicians. The set design was great, as were the costumes. Some stand out performances for me were Paul Wilkins (Claude), Marcus Collins (Hud) and Aiesha Pease (Dionne), they all had amazing stage presence, grabbed your attention whenever they appeared, spectacular vocal range and ability. A joy to listen to and watch. Jake Quickenden (Berger) performed with great timing, energy and also brought comedy to the show. Thoroughly entertaining especially the ‘Be in’ at the end which I took part in.
Hair the Musical is a brave, confident, surprising and entertaining show. Great music with a truly talented cast. You won’t be disappointed.
Tickets cost from £13 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).
Hair The Musical is at the Theatre Royal in Brighton from 8-13 July 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/brighton or call the box office on 0844 871 7650.
Theatre Royal, New Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1SD | 0844 871 7650