Reviewed by Lucy Gwilliam
Yesterday evening, my husband and I went to The Lowry theatre in Salford Quays, Manchester to watch Tim Firth’s musical The Band, featuring the music of Take That. Having previously watched this spectacular show last year, I already knew that I was in for an amazing treat.
The show tells the story of five sixteen-year-old girls, Rachel, Heather, Debbie, Claire and Zoe who are obsessed with their favourite boyband and sneak out to watch their idols perform live in Manchester. Following the tragic death of one of the girls, the remaining four lose contact and grow up without each other.
Twenty-five years later, Rachel wins a competition to see the newly reformed band live in Prague, so the four now grown up friends meet up again. They realise that their lives haven’t been what they had dreamed about, but it is never too late to follow your dreams.
The show is set to a soundtrack of Take That songs, performed by Five to Five; AJ Bentley, Curtis T Johns, Nick Carlsberg, Yazden Qafouri and Harry Fabulous Brown, who had famously won Gary Barlow’s Let it Shine show to star in this production. They sing and dance with energy and enthusiasm to many of Take That’s hits including Shine, Rule the World and many more – Rule the World being my wedding song, so it made it extremely special to see this performed in the show.
This is a warm, funny, honest story about friendship and the fulfilment of dreams. The real stars are the women themselves. Rachel Lundberg is fabulous as Rachel. Alison Fitzjohn, Emily Joyce, Jayne McKenna are equally superb as Claire, Heather and Zoe.
My husband and I laughed, danced and applauded throughout the show and I even shed a tear at one point. I honestly loved this show and enjoyed every single moment of it, I didn’t want it to end! It is my all-time favourite musical and I cannot wait to see it again!
Towards the end of the show, the audience lit up their torches on their phones and waved these along to the fantastic music. It was a really magical feeling.
We had an amazing evening.
Tickets cost from £17 (booking fees may apply).
The Band is at The Lowry in Manchester from 16-26 January 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000