Sunday, October 2

Dreamgirls – New Wimbledon Theatre

Loosely based on the story of The Supremes, the multi–award winning musical Dreamgirls is back with a new UK tour. Dreamgirls tells the story of the fictional pop group Dreametts, a talented trio of black female singers from 1960s Chicago as they navigate fame, fortune, and the ruthless realities of show business, pushing their friendships to the limit.

Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, the dancing was certainly a highlight of this show. From the slick quick changes to the non-stop energy of the supporting cast as they jumped and twirled across the stage, the production was extremely fast paced and kept the audience engaged throughout. The set was mostly kept minimal, except for a few changes between scenes, so the real focus was the colourful costumes. Designed by Tim Hatley, the sparkly outfits were bold and extravagant, especially for the Dreamettes, complemented nicely by Josh Marquette’s brilliant hair designs.

Nicole Raquel Dennis leads as Effie White, one of the most challenging musical roles to date. Dennis steps up to the plate with her spectacular vocals, her rendition of ‘And I Am Telling You’ was truly a triumph. Dennis masterfully takes the audience on Effie’s journey through her emotional performance, from her raw ambition and strong-willed nature to being helpless and heartbroken, you really felt it through her singing. She brought a youthfulness to the role which worked perfectly for Effie’s character development as she matures as a singer and finds herself. Dennis was joined by Natalie Kassanga as Deena Jones and Paige Peddie as Lorrell Robinson, their voices blended together really well, especially in the group numbers. Peddie’s power and sass in ‘Ain’t No Party’ was brilliant while Kassanga’s catchy version of “One Night Only” had many audience members bobbing their heads and tapping their feet.

The trio were joined by an equally talented supporting cast. Shem Omari James was sweet and loveable as C.C White and Dom Hartley-Harris played the manipulative Curtis Taylor Jr. very well as his power-hungry true nature comes to light, without being an over-the-top villain. A special mention must go to Brandon Lee Sears for his electrifying performance as Jimmy Early. Sears brought the house down with his charm, humour, and incredible dancing as he effortlessly hit each note in every song. From his hilarious one-liners to his more manic moments, all eyes were on Sears each time he stepped on stage. Sears and Peddie had great chemistry too, particularly in their more light-hearted scenes, the pair bounced off each other well and got plenty of laughs.

With stunning staging, excellent choreography and breath taking vocals that’ll leave you speechless, this dazzling production of Dreamgirls is not to be missed.

Dreamgirls the Musical is currently touring at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 14th May, with tickets and dates available here: https://www.dreamgirlsthemusical.co.uk  

Reviewer: Gemma Prince

Reviewed: 10th May 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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