Reviewed by Paul Davies
There has been a plethora of musicals lately based on themes or on particular artists. Mama Mia and Jersey Boys being the best of the genre for me. Some havn’t fared as well. We Will Rock You from the Queen songbook and one from the Elton John lexicon the name of which even escapes me!Flares by Sue Oldknow is a marvellous excuse for the stringing together of some 70’s classic songs, but is little more. The story-line is almost redundant, and the whole piece having twenty-two songs could have simply been a 70’s review!
Having said that, Oldknow’s dialogue when we get it is actually witty and succinct, and more of it would have given meat to the story. I would’ve liked a couple of the numbers to have been cut sort, we didn’t need the outros in some cases, or the Police-Squad-cast-freezes!
Director Martin Barbary has assembled an enthusiastic cast of varying experience and abilities who all worked very hard, the heart and soul that went into this production was visible in every number. Tiffany Barbary was the stand-out for me though, (related?) Not because of obvious talent, but because of her permanent smile and outright enjoyment of the whole thing. Mitchell Lowe, Tessa McCormack, Nicolle Vale, and Amy Staker all showed off their ability, and were completely in their comfort-zone.
Jarrod Chave as the narrator did a great job, although I’m not sure why he wasn’t on the stage. His stage-presence might have been able to deal with the technical issues from the curtain and the sound system.