Motown the Musical at the Theatre Royal Nottingham Review

23 April to 4 May 2019

Motown The Musical

Reviewed by Sandip Stapleton

Wow, what a show! Motown the Musical was way more than I could have imagined. I went to see the show last night with my Czech friend who grew up not listening to Motown music so I wondered what she would make of it, but she LOVED it! She had heard all of the songs in during her past 12 years of living in the UK and was singing and dancing along which goes to show just how catchy and timeless the songs are.

The shows starts by introducing you to the fact that there is going to be a concert celebrating 25 years of Motown, and of the man that created in, Berry Gordy.

We then spend the next 2 hours and 40 minutes witnessing how Gordy, from a young boy who wanted to be the best he can be, grow into a very successful man with hit after hit under his belt, working with the greatest pop, R&B and soul artists of that time, them leaving him for other bigger record labels, the highs and lows along the way, all the way up to that famous 25th anniversary concert. There is a big focus on Gordy’s relationship with Diana Ross and her rise from being an ambitious teenager, to one of the most famous women in the music industry.  

Whilst you are on the Gordy’s journey, the theatre is filled with over 50 of Motown’s greatest hits, albeit some of them truncated a bit and littered throughout certain monologues, but what a toe tapping journey it was. Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, the list goes on.  

As well as the music, the show touches on the racism that the black stars experienced in the US, historical events like the assassinations of JF Kennedy and Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement.

The actors are fabulous, and boy can they sing and dance! Edward Baruwa was particularly amazing, his acting was great but his voice was so impressive that I was fully absorbed with his version of Gordy.  

The choreography was very in tune to the style in the 60s. As were the costumes, the frilled shirts, cumber bands, the fit and flare knew length dresses, the lot. Even the different wigs. The most impressive looks were Diana Ross’ when she became a solo star with glitter gowns and big hair which were so much like the real thing.

If you get a chance to see Motown the Musical, you are in for a real treat for your eyes, ears and toes. It was a truly entertaining show! A total 5 out of 5!

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £15 to £57.50 (booking fees may apply).

Motown the Musical is at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham from 23 April to 4 May 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit or call the box office on 0115 989 5555.

Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND

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