Rock of Ages has hit London adapted from the Tony award winning Broadway version of the stage show. It stars Shayne ward as the self obsessed rock star Stacee Jaxx and Justin Lee Collins as Dupree the owner of the famous Bourbon room. Set in the 80’s on the sunset strip Rock of Ages takes us on a journey of a small town girl and city boy as they find love together and the trials and tribulations that they encounter.
Enter the sleazy world of glam rock, strip clubs and washed up rock stars.
Rock of Ages is a musical that instantly grabs with its edgy cast and brilliant 80’s soundtrack. It might not be everyone’s bag, but it was most certainly mine. As the story unravelled what made me laugh was I could relate the characters to a lot of my friends. Which seemed somewhat strange as this was set 30 years ago. But in my world, glam rock is still kicking and if my friends are anything to go by so are the outfits!
Drew played by Oliver Tompsett is from Detroit and moved to LA to make it as a rock musician and find love. Cue Sherrie an actress from a small town moved to LA to make it as an actress. Drew and Sherrie meet in Dupree’s Bourbon room and instantly the connection is made. Although as with all young and new love there is mass misunderstanding so it does take our two lovers time to find one another but the story on the way is outstanding.
The parallel plot of ROA is that of a property developer Hertz (Rohan Tickell) and his son Franz (Sandy Moffat) are trying to persuade the mayor to tear down the sunset strip and rid the sleaze from the city. Regina (Jodie Jacobs) assistant to the mayor refuses to believe that this can happen and instantly leaves her job and leads a protest to stop the development from happening. Meanwhile a relationship surprisingly forms between her and Franz. It’s suprising because every time we meet Franz he steals the scene with high leg kicks, and gay innuendo and when we learn that he isn’t gay the cast seem just as surprised as the audience. When told in the story that everyone thought he was gay Franz says “I’m not gay, I’m just German” a fantastic comedic character upon many.
As great as the story, music and performances all round are there is one performance that really stood out to me and that is of Lonny the narrator played by Simon Lipkin he is a sex obsessed stroke of comedy genius that glues the entire show together. With his hilarious t-shirts 'Hooray for Boobies' and witty banter Lonny steals the show. Before the first interval Lonny narrates that at the end of the first half of a show your usually left with a hit tune and jazz hands as he leads the cast into Whitesnake’s 'Here I Go Again' of course ended with jazz hands and a funny sentiment leaving you wanting more.
Rock of Ages is a show not to be missed; the cast are all spectacular and extremely talented. Shayne Ward, who I was concerned about the most, can actually pull off rock star status. Who knew! Make sure you go see this in your leathers. My only criticism if I have one was that the audience weren’t sure what to do and I think could have been a bit more involved, so if you are going to go see Rock of Ages be prepared to rock out! \m/
All articles are © Michelle Nevill