Reviewed by J Wright
We were treated to a dazzling evening of rhinestones and sequins throughout as Cher’s biggest hits were performed, some in part and some in full, threaded together by a narrative of her life story. The show take the best known chronological events of Cher’s story, feeding the audience the year so we can observe her changing life, achievements, relationships and milestones.
Cher is played by three performers, each depicting a certain age and stage. The Star, the Cher we know now and perceive in her riotous success is Debbie Kurup. The Lady, portraying Cher’s time as she became a mother and moved through marriages and career highs and lows, is performed by Danielle Steers and The Babe, showing us the early years when Cher began her career, is performed by Millie O’Connell. All three have a strong vocal similarity to Cher when singing and some effort has been put in to give the man authentic sound of the star when talking, emulating her deeper tones and American accent. Furthermore each have adopted elements of Cher’s known poses and body language. Babe has the big, vulnerable eyes and chin down approach along with some of the more unusual performance strategies the performer used. Lady has the hair flick which became synonymous with performance and all three change their mouth shape to duplicate her unique movement.
The costumes are instantly recognisable from Cher’s most famous moments. Some have little tweaks for the three different performers but if not for that you’d be sure you were looking at a replica. As a performer she would often have the longest fringe, the most rhinestones, the most daring and the most glittery costumes and this show absolutely brings that authentic aspect of her shows and gives it even more of her identity.
There’s a lovely series of ways in which we can see which year the performers are depicting and it begins with Cher as a child, moving through into meeting Sonny and how the events of their marriage unfolded. Lucas Rush in the role of Sonny gave a good vocal performance which made for a broader scope as we saw Babe and Lady sing with him.
The show is littered with jokes, reflecting much of how The Sonny & Cher Show was performed and bringing a few laughs. There’s also nods to Cher’s iconic status in the LGBT+ community along with some cut throat remarks about her past. Anyone of an age will recognise some events from the media throughout her life.
I really enjoyed Sam Ferriday’s multi roles as Greg Allman, Rob Camilletti, Phil Spector and John Southall. The range of costume changes, wigs and swagger meant we were taken along with the characters, never bound by recognition of the actor to dispel the illusion.
Oti Mabuse of TV fame is detailed as the choreographer and the dance performance is energetic throughout each of Cher’s hits. I wished the ensemble had the chance to flash a range of costumes to better reflect the high production value which we would now often associate with Cher.
The end sequences are a sing-a-long so if you love a bit of Cher you’ll get your chance to dance and last night the whole audience were on their feet, clapping, singing and giving a bit of a boogie. It ends the night on a high.
Don’t forget that The Lyceum offer a discount parking voucher for the ‘Cheesegrater’ as it’s known locally and you can pick up your ticket from the box office.
The show is on from Tuesday 10th May until Saturday 14th May
Tickets cost from £15.00
For more information or to book tickets, please visit The Cher Show | Sheffield Theatres or phone the box office on 0114 249 6000