Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Never Forget - Liverpool Empire

Never Forget
Writer: Danny Brocklehurst, Guy Jones & Ed Curtis
Music/Lyrics: Gary Barlow
Director: Ed Curtis
Reviewer: Jacqui Senaun

This show certainly opened with a bang. It captured the audience straight away and the audience fell silent and full of anticipation as the music started, and with it being Take That songs it was buzzing.

The show tells the story of a son, Ash (Mark Wilshire) setting out to help his mum, Babs (Penelope Woodman), save her pub from debt collectors. Ash, as just got engaged to Chloe (Aimee Atkinson) and together with her brother, Jake, (Adam C Booth) decide to enter a tribute band competition to win £10,000. They are then joined by another 3 young men, Adrian (Tom Bradley), Dirty Harry (Philip Olivier) and Jose (Scott Garnham) who are all from different backgrounds to form the Take That tribute band. The story is then told, rather slowly using either, quite long and drawn out conversations or rather more excitedly a Take That song, something with which Shameless writer and this shows Director should be able to avoid with ease,

The plot centres mostly on Ash and his relationship with Chloe. Him being lured away by a talent scout that promises him the money he needs so desperately, quicker. He then loses his friends, his mum but most importantly Chloe. The second half of the show moved faster. The band getting back together and Ash and Chloe’s relationship back of track, the song and dance scenes were exciting and superb. The actors really seemed to come to life during this half of the production and they had the audiences clapping and singing along to the songs.

The stage sets were very well designed and the changes between the scenes were effortless and well carried out, although I have to say there were an awful lot of scene changes. At one moment you were in a pub and the next in a dance studio and then back to the pub, which at times took you a while to work out what was going on. The rain scene towards the end of the first half was brilliant though, with the words never forget falling with the rain.

The Finale of the show, was by far the most exciting moment in the show. The whole Theatre were on their feet joining in with the singing and dancing and the atmosphere was fabulous and it was at this point where I did not want it to end. The children were brilliant and added so much to the song Never Forget.

Although this is just another Jukebox Musical with songs from a famous band, it was an entertaining show and is worth going to see.

Photos: Paul Coltas
Runs until Sat 5th Dec
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