The Band had its opening night at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre last night. Tim Firth’s brand new musical – brought to life with the music of Take That – is a guilty pleasure spectacular for hardcore fans as well as those who are unfamiliar with the boyband’s oeuvre.
Directed by Kim Gavin and Jack Ryder, The Band follows the journey of five 16 year-old girls whose whole world revolves around a dreamy boyband – Take That – until a tragic event changes their lives forever.
The story is peppered with glorious nineties nostalgia – think Top of the Pops, Smash Hits and Teletext, and the ordinary lives of The Band’s women and girls out-shine the veneer of the musical’s boyband chorus. Having said that, the five-piece band brings enough camp and cheese to transport the theatre to a pop concert of the mid-nineties. The band, consisting of AJ Bentley, Curtis T. Johns, Yazdan Qafouri, Nick Carsberg, Sario Solomon and Harry Fabulous Brown bring all of Take That’s greatest hits to life including Never Forget, Back for Good, A Million Love Songs, Greatest Day, The Flood, Relight My Fire, Shine and Rule the World.
At the heart of The Band is a simple story of love, loss and friendship, and it is not long before Rachel, (Rachel Lumberg and Faye Christall) has every Take That fan on her side. The Band’s honest, tender moments showcase the talents of the show’s leading ladies, and the infectious comic timing of Every Dave (Andy Williams) help punctuate the musical.
On the surface, The Band might not seem like everyone’s cup of tea, but by the interval, even the most sceptical audience members were converted. Cut to the show’s spectacular climax and the production’s ensemble had every person off their seats, with their hands in the air, in a mass re-enactment of the Never Forget choreography.
Ultimately, The Band is an all-singing, all-dancing sensation, as well as a nostalgic trip down memory lane as the story’s heartfelt message, resonates with anyone who truly fangirled hard in their youth.
The Band runs at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre until Saturday November 10.
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