Reviewed by Jan Dixon
I attended the opening night of ‘Rock of Ages’, which is showing at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton from Tuesday 16th July – Saturday 20th July 2019. This musical is based on a book by Chris D’Arienzo, with arrangements and orchestration by Ethan Popp.
Rock of Ages is a musical set in Sunset Strip and is built around classic 1980’s rock songs, including those from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, Poison and Europe. Right from the start it can be seen that this show is a parody of 1980’s rock, especially by the tongue in cheek ‘narrator’ Lonny (Lucas Rush), who related the tenuous storyline throughout. He was excellent in quickly building a rapport with the audience. A standout comedy musical scene involved Lonny and Dennis (Kevin Kennedy) singing ‘I Can’t Fight This Feeling’ to each other- a laugh out loud moment as they both corpsed at the end – hilarious!
The debauchery of Sunset Strip is integral to the storyline – so be prepared for explicit scenes of scantily clad women gyrating and imitating sexual acts to various cast members. Scenes were set in a lap dancing club – so be warned! Not for the faint hearted!
There were recognisable staples of 1980’s rock; a womanising ‘rock god’ Stacee Jaxx (Kevin Clifton), wannabe rock stars and an unrequited love storyline, all linked by many well recognised 1980’s rock ballads. A standout singer was Justice (Zoe Birkett) who performed Harden My Heart/Shadows of the Night, Anyway You Want It and I Wanna Rock with Sherrie (Jodie Steele) and Drew (Joshua Dever). Excellent live band performance and a large cast of actors/singers who fully immersed themselves in the show.
The whole theatre really rocked with the musical performances, the audience singing along and thoroughly enjoying the show. A standing ovation at the end was fully deserved; which the cast clearly appreciated. An excellent show, I would highly recommend it – it think it is worth a 5-star rating! It’s on until 20th July 2019 – don’t miss it!
The Mayflower Theatre is close to railway links with a variety of car parks close-by. It is advisable to check the nearby Southampton football club fixtures as this can have an impact on the volume of traffic entering/leaving Southampton. Do allow for this when travelling to the venue. The theatre itself has recently been refurbished and looked stunning, with comfortable seating and plenty of leg room. Staff were very welcoming with a high standard of customer care.
Tickets cost from £19.50 to £39.50 (booking fees may apply).
Rock of Ages is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton from 16-20 July 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.mayflower.org.uk or call the box office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811