Monday, April 22

The Cher Show: A New Musical – Edinburgh Festival Theatre

An electric, energetic and cleaver show, the Cher Show has come to Edinburgh to educate audiences on the life of musical icon Cher. The music loud and brilliantly executed, the lights bright and the costumes are absolutely dazzling.

Cher has been around for what may feel like forever, an ever-constant voice through the lives of most of us living, and through the ages neither her voice, power or face has changed all that much. For such an individual voice it takes real skill to be able to impersonate and do the legend justice, the Cher Show takes the challenge of finding one skill filled actress to fill the role and multiplies it by three, separating Cher into the three main stages of her career: the naive rising star (Babe played by Millie O’Connell) , the confident woman freeing herself from the shadow of her husband (Lady played by Danielle Steers) , and the older movie star who’s still trying to figure things out despite of age and life experience (Star: Debbie Kurup).

The stage is very cleverly set up as both a stage and a backstage area with the space and lighting of a movie set but wings made up of various Cher wigs and costume bags, symbolically showing the performances of Cher within her life rather than her life overshadowed by her work. We all know who Cher is, and yes most of us came for the music but we are also her for her story, a fact reminded to us by the wigs, costume bags and of course the other Cher’s darted around the stage watching from various backstage set.

Front LtoR Millie OConnell, Debbie Kurup, Danielle Steers in The Cher Show – Photo: Pamela Raith

Debbie Kurup is majestic as Star, her vocal ability to maintain Cher’s distinctive voice with perfect diction is more than impressive. Kurup sees Cher through her later life, through future struggles with love, the ups and downs of her film career as well as the moments that Cher felt like almost giving up. Her performance carries true emotion and despite her not looking exactly like the star, at times one can truly believe that Kurup is Cher.

Steers’ vocals are so incredibly powerful, and she too embodies the star so incredibly well. You feel the passion she has in this role and vocally she has Cher down to a T. Despite not being the eldest Cher, she appears the wisest and most confident in herself, however, still demonstrates Cher’s vulnerabilities so very well too. Every time Steers opens her mouth the audience are met with a “wow” moment. 

One cannot of course forget about O’Connell who brings that youthful energy to a teenage Cher, showing brilliant understanding of Cher’s mannerisms and quirks.

A mention should also be given to Guy Woolf who stepped into the role of Sonny and who was truly incredible in the role, taking us on Cher’s romantic journey, at times we loved him, then hated him but like Cher in the end we found ourselves respecting him.

The costumes are fitting to Cher and are absolutely stunning. Glittery, rhinestones and camp, Gabriella Slade has really created art with these looks.

Overall, this is a strong show, and definitely worth a watch if you are a fan of Cher’s music and quick wit. Book your tickets before it’s too late.

The Cher Show plays at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh from 11th October until 15th October.

Reviewer: Beth Eltringham

Reviewed: 11th October 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★