15-19 September 2015
Reviewed by Catherine Dolan
Glenn Miller was one of my late Father’s all-time favourites, and I was fortunate enough to be asked to review the stage production of his life, fame and disappearance of in my opinion the best big band leader. The King’s Theatre in Glasgow is Located at 297 Bath Street, and is a category A listed building. It is popular for musicals, dance, comedy and circus-type performances. It was brilliantly designed by Frank Matcham and opened its doors in 1904 and has been host to top shows and stars ever since. The King’s is also home of the annual Christmas pantomimes.
The King’s Theatre has a magnificent interior, however, it is starting to look rather tired now. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. There was a slight problem over tickets (it appeared that ATG, the ticket providers has printed one of the seats twice), however this was dealt with swiftness and ease, thanks to the staff and the member of public who kindly agreed to move along. The Picture Bar within the theatre is a great place for pre-performance and interval drinks, however the bar prices are rather expensive. This theatre is now firmly on my search list when looking for shows to book for a night out, it is a beautiful theatre and surprisingly has lots of leg room for an old theatre. It had a real feel of the grandness of the period in which it was built. I would definitely recommend a visit. Located right in the centre of the city so easily accessible. The only down side (which is common of many old theatres) were the queues for toilets and refreshments.
Tommy Steele who unbelievably is now in his late 70s and who has previously starred in Half a Sixpence and Singing in the Rain at the London Palladium, as expected, with his charismatic charming personality, gave an outstanding performance, told a very interesting story, sang wonderfully alongside an incredible orchestra and kept us all thoroughly entertained. This show does exactly what it says in the title. It tells you about the life of Glenn Miller, a 1940’s big band leader. Having sold 100,000 records in just one week, and being awarded the first ever gold disk, Glenn Miller vanished with no trace at the age of 40. In 1944, Glenn Miller convinced the United States Army to tour the theatres of World War II entertaining the troops. As a major serving in the US Army Air Force, he boarded a transport plane to Paris, which disappeared over the English Channel. He was reported missing in action and was never seen again.
I have previously watched the film version of his story (played by Jimmy Stewart), but can honestly say that bringing it to theatre was an incredible experience. The whole cast were wonderful and the Jazz Band certainly did Glenn Miller proud. Playing hits like It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing, Zing Went the Strings of my Heart, Moonligh Serenade , Pensylvania 6-5000 and of course, Chattanooga Choo Choo.
An excellent show.
Tickets cost from £21.40 to £48.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
The Glenn Miller Story is at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow until 18 September 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 7648.
King’s Theatre, 297 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JN | 0844 871 7648