Sunday, July 14

I Should Be So Lucky – Opera House, Manchester

I Should Be So Lucky, penned by Debbie Isitt, is a jukebox musical that takes its audience on a nostalgic journey through the hits of Stock Aitken Waterman. Starring Lucie-Mae Sumner as Ella and Billy Roberts as Nathan, the musical places its primary focus on the music rather than the plot, creating a vibrant but sometimes superficial experience.

The story, centred around the rocky relationship between Ella and Nathan, unfolds with Nathan leaving Ella at the altar. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the musical’s main draw is its soundtrack, not its narrative. Ella’s rapid forgiveness of Nathan in Act 2 seems more a product of the musical’s rush to showcase another hit song rather than a thoughtful character decision.

The cast, including Kayla Carter as Bonnie, Jessica Daley as Britney, and Giovanni Spano as Ash, delivers energetic and commendable performances. Scott Paige, as Michael, provides a notable highlight with his camp humour and innovative physical theatre, bringing much-needed liveliness to the stage.

Photo: Marc Brenner

The show’s production values are high, with an impressive set design and a cameo by Kylie Minogue adding to the overall spectacle. While these elements are visually stunning, they further emphasise the musical’s focus on style and music over substance.

As a jukebox musical, “I Should Be So Lucky” excels in bringing the iconic Stock Aitken Waterman songs to life. However, this focus on music results in a narrative that lacks depth and coherence. Moments like the abrupt revelation of Britney’s gambling addiction and the unconvincing reconciliation between Ella and Nathan highlight the secondary importance given to storytelling.

In summary, “I Should Be So Lucky” is a musical that revels in its status as a jukebox spectacle. It’s a feast for the senses with its nostalgic soundtrack and visually impressive staging, though it falls short in delivering a compelling narrative. The show is perfect for those seeking a fun, music-focused experience, but may not satisfy those looking for a well-rounded story.

I Should Be So Lucky continues at the Opera House in Manchester until 25th November. For tickets, please visit https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/i-should-be-so-lucky/opera-house-manchester/

Reviewer: Brian Madden

Reviewed: 14th November 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
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