Wanted… Dead or Alive
Rock of Ages
Shaftesbury Theatre, London
Cast: Justin Lee Collins, Shayne Ward, Oliver Tompsett, Natalie Andreou, Simon Lipkin
11th August 2012
For those that haven’t seen Rock of Ages and are going to but have a fear/phobia of spoilers. Don’t sweat it. I’ve got you covered. No spoilers here!
Last night was the fourth time I saw Rock of Ages.
What the actual fuck. Four times?!
But last night was the first time I saw the main cast in their intended roles. (The first time I saw it Justin Lee Collins was absent, the second time, it was Simon Lipkin and the third, Shayne Ward)
The show itself doesn’t really have much to boast in terms of plot, it’s pretty simple. However, it really is the cast’s commitment to their roles that really stand out. All of the cast members have impressive singing voices, such as Rachel McFarlane and Natalie Andreou who really hold their own amongst the male-heavy main cast.
Simon Lipkin as Lonny the Narrator is particularly impressive. His comic timing was the reason for many of the laughs during the night and his style of acting make the audience think that he really is having a conversation with the audience. Lipkin’s hilarity is highlighted by the cast members around him who sometimes can’t contain their own amusement of his antics on stage which is great to see.
The two cast members that really surprised me were Justin Lee Collins and Shayne Ward. Both of whom are not from the musical theatre world, their contributions to the show were enjoyable and on parr with the rest of the cast. Collin’s voice was strong and his comedic timing alongside Lipkin made for a great duo, resulting in the audience rooting for their character’s friendship. Shayne Ward’s voice in this show is unlike his pop songs. He carries a rock tune convincingly and although he portrays a cocky and delusional Stacee Jaxx, he still manages to make the audience believe that Stacee isn’t a bad person.
The star in this show however, is Oliver Tompsett. Previously seen on stage as Fiyero in the West End production of Wicked, the transition from numbers like’ Dancing Through Life from that production to this show’s High Enough makes you wonder how he does it. His range is unbelievable and at one point, his longevity in which he sings borders impossible. Not only is his voice very impressive his character is lovable and adorable. You can’t help but root for him, even when, as a character, he makes a couple of mistakes.
In summary, Rock of Ages is a great night out. Girls will like it because of Shayne Ward. Guys will like it because the women are always in their underwear. Its fun and upbeat and you will laugh endlessly.
Rating: *5* Vee (Rockin’) Thumbs Up!