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Posts Tagged ‘Take That’

This wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Even though it features Take That songs sung by a TV cast band, the focus of Tim Frith’s story is the fans – aged 16 in 1993 and now. It took a while before I engaged with it, it was a bit too sentimental, but overall I was glad I caught it at my local theatre (before West End prices!).

We start with five sixteen-year old girls, obsessed with The Band, doing what sixteen-year-old fans do, before we leap forward to the present day, when one of them wins four tickets to see their idols’ reunion tour in Prague and gets in touch with the three remaining friends to join her. When we meet them she, and we, catch up with what they’ve been doing in the last 25 years. That’s about it, really.

Throughout the telling of the story, the five boys of The Band, pop up all over the place, sometimes as characters like airline attendants and cleaners, to sing the hits of Take That. I wasn’t a fan (I was never a sixteen year old girl and when I was sixteen the members of Take That weren’t even born!) but you’d have to have been in hibernation not to have heard their songs, which aren’t bad as pop songs go. Most of the audience clearly identified with the four female leads, so they had a fine time.

The songs were sung well, though the band was a bit rough at the edges and the sound not good enough. Jon Bausor’s designs did the job, given the number and variety of locations, but didn’t take your breath away like they usually do. Kim Gavin’s choreography was a bit stale and unimaginative, but it may have been recreating the original for all I know. His staging, with co-director Jack Ryder, was slick and well paced.

I’m clearly not the target audience, but its a decent touring show. How it will fare in the West End I’m not so sure.

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