Motown the Musical at the Theatre Royal Plymouth Review

6-17 August 2019

Reviewed by Teresa Jones

If you love Motown, this is the show for you. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright It is based on the book written by Berry Gordy who was the creator of Motown, the great Detroit Music label, and takes you right from the very beginning where he borrowed $800 from his family  to start his dream and make a difference through all the ups and downs of the Motown years. It takes you through the assignation of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King and with a powerful performance of War with great choreography and presence on the stage through the Vietnam war. Sadly, we also see the fall of Motown as the family of stars Gordy has created all start to leave him for other labels offering more money.

All the performers put their heart and souls into this show it is fast moving and you will not be able to help but clap, sing and move your feet as you hear all the greats from Motown including ,I heard it through the grapevine, Happy birthday, My guy, Dancing in the street, Stop in the name of love and so many more.

Edward Baruwa who plays Berry Gordy really engages you into the story and has the most powerful voice, he was note perfect with every song he performed.

Karis Anderson who plays Diana Ross is amazing she takes Diana from the schoolgirl to the film and stage star perfectly and with passion it is like Diana is on the stage her voice is just perfect, her costumes are beautiful and so true to what you would see Diana wearing. The costume designer Emilo Sosa has done a wonderful job with all the casts costumes.

Nathen Lewis and Shak Gabbidon-Williams bring Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye into the show with Smokey Robinson being the one who stands with Gordy through everything.

Jovy Domingos as Michael Jackson gives a great performance his voice and moves are great.

The sets designed by David Korins are a mix of sets, projections, television, films and posters with the projections by Daniel Brodie that bring the story to life the changes again are faultless.

The Theatre Royal is a bright modern building that is always a pleasure to visit, it is always impeccably clean and tastefully decorated. It has some of the most friendly and helpful staff who are always smart and pleasant.

It is very easy to get to being at the bottom of Plymouth’s main street Royal Parade and if you are driving there is ample parking with three large pay and display car parks very close to the theatre. Royal Parade is also where all the main bus stops are so also very easy to get to using public transport there is also a taxi rank right outside.

There are a range of restaurants nearby that will cater for all tastes. The theatre also has a restaurant, and, in the foyer, they have a lovely little coffee shop with a great selection of hot and cold drinks and snacks and great cakes.  

A wonderful show!

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £17.50 to £52.50 (booking fees may apply).

Motown The Musical is at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth from 6-17 August 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit or call the box office on 01752 267222.

Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR | 01752 267222

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