27 October to 1 November 2014
Reviewed by Laura Bown
Wow! Just Wow!
I have just returned from an awesome adrenaline filled evening of rock ‘n’ roll debauchery. I really didn’t know what to expect, I had not seen the film or read any reviews. All I knew was that it was a rock musical. I expected to go along and find a storyline interspersed with some 80’s rock songs that I vaguely knew. What I actually got was a great evening of entertainment, excellent music, performances and some hilarious jokes.
Set in L.A’s Sunset strip in the 1980’s the story centres around the Bourbon Room nightclub, a place where dreams are made (all be it sticky, alcohol influenced, rock type dreams). The Bourbon Room is under threat from the corrupt mayor and overzealous property developers who want to demolish it to make way for a strip mall. There is a love story between wannabe rocker Drew (Noel Sullivan) and wannabe actress Sherrie (Cordelia Farnworth) who both gave excellent performances. The story is merely there to provide a vehicle for the 30 songs which are featured in the show. I did find the story slightly lacking at times and struggled to root for the ‘love’ story as a couple.
The most outstanding performance of the show was from Stephen Rahman-Hughes who played Lonny. Lonny is the sound guy at the Bourbon Room, but he also takes on the role of narrator throughout the show. His engagement with the audience and the double act with Daniel Fletcher as club owner Dennis Dupree was the source of many laughs throughout the show. Some of the humour was slapstick, and some was a little saucy.
There was not one performance that was not up to scratch, the band were on stage constantly and were excellent. The stage design was very creative with the use of a big screen to provide some comedy laughs.
As always the Lyceum staff were excellent. It is my first visit since the recent extensive £1.9 million refurbishment, and it is looking better than ever. The sound system seemed to have been much improved, the foyer and bar areas looked brighter and smarter, and the addition of further toilet facilities meant no queues. I used the Q-Park on Charles Street as suggested on the Sheffield Theatres website, although not the cheapest parking option in the city centre, it is within easy walking distance, bright and clean. It cost me £6. If you speak to staff at the Lyceum they will provide you with a first hour free voucher for use at Q-Park.
Rock of ages is an awesome show which really should not be missed. It is full of energetic dance routines, amazing vocal performances and tongue in cheek humour. It does not take itself seriously as a musical, and maybe this is why it works so well. It is the first time I have been to a performance and the entire audience were on their feet before the end of the show.
Tickets cost from £22 to £34 (plus £1 online transaction fee).
Rock of Ages is at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield until 1 November 2014. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0114 249 6000.
Sheffield Theatres, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA | Box Office 0114 249 6000