Show Boat has sailed down the Thames and moored at the New London Theatre after its successful run at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre.
I also had the pleasure of being the onsite reporter/interviewer for the Press Night for Show Boat which was rather exciting.
You can see more here: Show Boat Press Night recap.
Now onto the show:
I myself knew very little about the show and to be honest I am quite glad that was the case. I had no preconceived notions or expectations and I can safely say that I was blown away – this show is a must see in the West End and the New London Theatre is the perfect venue for this show.
Show Boat in a nutshell:
Originally created in 1927 Show Boat is the story of the Mississippi show boat ‘The Cotton Blossom’ and the relationships forged onboard. The show spans a 40 year time period where we see how the lives of the performers and shipmates intertwine and grow. It explores themes of love, racial prejudice, tragedy and family bonds.
Seeing a show when it first opens is an amazing experience! Don’t get me wrong shows maintain a high level of performance and wow factor for their entire run, but when a show first opens there is just something else – something special about it.
The first thing I am going to mention due to my background is the level of dance and movement in this show. No one is safe! Every cast member regardless of age, gender or size has to move and I mean move! It was a great ode to period dance of that time period and everyone in the cast was a great dancer or mover. A particular mention goes to the dance ability of Danny Collins and Victoria Hinde – stunning!!
So enough about dancing..
Vocally you are hit with a wall of sound when the entire cast sing and with the likes of Gina Beck, Rebecca Trehearn and Emmanuel Kojo this show is a vocal masterpiece.
Beck as Magnolia lives both a happy and tragic life. Going from sweet naive girl to mature and slightly damaged leading lady. Ol’ Man River sung by Kojo is so pure and powerful and at the age of 24 I can see his career soaring. Trehearn’s song ‘Bill’ is stunning and within the show we see her go from headliner to tragic drunken revue performer.
The costumes and set are perfect for the era. Although they may not look like a million bucks (due to the nature of the show ) I am sure they cost a fair bit. Lez Brotherston’s set captures both the deep south and then the hustle bustle of Chicago city life.
It literally was a cast of top notch talent. I can’t recommend this show enough, and now due to its limited run I would put this on the top of your ‘To see’ List.
You can find our more about the show and purchase tickets from the official Show Boat website.