I always forget how close South Wales is to Bristol and with the school holidays just starting in Wales, a trip to The Hippodrome was on the cards.
Opening with a lighting show fit for a rock concert, Rock of Ages is a modern musical love story told using over 25 classic rock anthems. Lose yourself in a city and a time where the dreams are as big as the hair, and yes, they can come true! Rock of Ages features many 80s hits, including We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight this Feeling and I Want to Know What Love Is, all played with electric vitality by a live band.
The story follows Sherrie and Drew who travel to LA to make it big in the film and rock music industries, respectively. The pair are played by Jodie Steele and Luke Walsh and have a strong presence on stage. I loved the way that they played the relationship coming together and being torn apart constantly throughout the show.
The whole show was stolen by Lucas Rush who played Lonnie, a character who also acted as narrator. Taking elements from pantomime and his own sheer brilliance as an extravagant character, he had the audience in stitches every time he was one stage.
Kevin Kennedy played Dennis Dupree and was almost unrecognisable from his most famous role of Coronation Street’s Curly Watts as he rocked around the stage. His chemistry with Lonnie (Lucas Rush) was evident from the first scene and I loved watching their relationship develop throughout the show.
Zoe Birkett, (probably still best known for the Pop Idol series in 2002) played Justice Charlier with a maturity far beyond her young age.
Nick Winston’s excellent direction shows that even when you have a small ensemble each part is just as important as the lead roles. Here, the ensemble antics added colour to every scene, while the strong choreography brought the music to life with a vibrant atmosphere.
Filled with sing-along songs and a rock concert with stadium lighting to match the music, Rock of Ages became a wild night out, providing the atmosphere of a concert rather than a musical.
With the bonus after the show that there are no tolls on the bridge returning to South wales, a trip to the Bristol Hippodrome is much easier than ever before. Rock on!
Rock of Ages is at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 20th April 2019.