Monday, June 24

Rock Of Ages – Northwich Memorial Court

Knutsford Musical Theatre Company return to Northwich Memorial Court ready to blow the roof off with the incredible Rock of Ages. This jukebox musical is built around songs from the 1980s including Styx, Journey and Bon Jovi to name but a few. We follow the story of two dreamers on the Sunset strip, trying to become something more but hitting many obstacles throughout, meeting many interesting characters along the way.

Narrated by Lonny, played by the hilarious Jon Hall, we follow numerous stories of possible demolition, the fight to save the Bourbon Room and in turn saving Rock and Roll and love stories in many different shapes and sizes.

Hall shines in the role of Lonny and a standout in this production, keeping the audience in the palm of his hands, breaking the fourth wall to interact with us and carry us through this journey with great camp wit and fantastic one liners, delivered perfectly.

Ollie Hale as Drew and Ella Carr as Sherrie, the pair of dreamers the story follows, play strong characters who take us on a great journey and deliver some incredible vocals.

Another standout performance came from Isabella Harrison as Regina Koontz, a former city planner who wants to fight the good fight to save the city, delivering a fantastic character with power and believability mixed with stunning vocals.

Andy Dolan as Hertz Klinemann and Westley Clarke as son Franz were a brilliant pairing, playing the pair of developers who want to tear down the sunset strip to make an area of “cleaner living”. Clarke is hilarious in the role of Franz, totally over the top and very camp in the role, with a fantastic costume reveal later in the show, making the character even more loveable.

I enjoyed the vibe in the auditorium, transporting us to the Sunset strip and inviting us into the Bourbon room, with a huge scaffold structure on stage, used very well and providing a home for the incredible band on stage and areas around the auditorium floor used well to bring us in.

The band, led by musical director Michael J Scott, sound phenomenal, delivering the powerful sound of the 80s that is needed in this show. There were times, possibly due to it being opening night, that the band overpowered the performers, meaning we were unable to hear what was being sung clearly, or even at times, it felt like some performers were trying to compete with the band vocally which was not ideal.

I very much enjoyed the choreography, provided by Dani Fray, extremely in keeping with the era and costumes by Kirsty Hall and Lesley Reed were fantastic and helped transport us to the 80s.

Lighting was a huge part of this piece, especially with it being such a vast space, and for the most used very well. There were at times, unfortunately, where lights were pointed into the audience from either side of the stage, completely blinding me meaning I could not see what was happening on stage. On numerous occasions there were times where cast on the upper level were not lit very well and hard to make out who was up there

Ben Ireson has done a nice job bringing this brilliant piece to life and overall, I had a fantastic evening, having my ‘face melted off’ with brilliant music, songs and cast full of energy and enthusiasm.

Rock of Ages runs at Northwich Memorial Courts until Saturday 25th May 2024 with tickets available at www.kmtc.org.uk/rock-of-ages/

Reviewer: Damian Riverol

Reviewed: 22nd May 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
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