Never Forget

Took daughter and her best friend to Never Forget last night. I think they were more excited by meeting yer man out of Stavros Flatley, and some of Flawless, who happened to be shopping in Victoria Square.

When did this style of musical begin – was it Mama Mia, that first took an artist’s songs and then built a musical story around them? That one of course has had great success as both a stage show and a film, and I’ve also enjoyed We Will Rock You, not least because the Ben Elton penned script is very funny. But neither of those is ABOUT the band – it’s not the story of ABBA or Queen. Never Forget is about a Take That tribute band, and so, when the songs are sung, they are trying to re-create how Take That would’ve done it. Now, there’s a time when it’s OK for the audience to join in the singing, as they might at a concert, and a time when they shouldn’t. Specifically for the latter when the main boy and girl are trying to reconcile after a fight using A Million Love Songs…

The singing overall was pretty good, the dancing was excellent, and I was particularly impressed by Kay Murphy as the evil record mogul – it’s rare to find a lead role who is such an amazing dancer, and she was incredibly flexible for one so tall. The sound was unreliable – the system broke down during the first half, and I’m informed that it had broken the previous night as well. But the stand out star of the show was the set, with 4 big revolving panels which changed to create the various settings, including a realistic Manchester pub. And the special effects – the rain curtain used during Pray was superb in recalling the video styling of that single. Good pacing, and an almost pantomime comedic factor all added up to a great night of fun for the audience, who were all dancing and screaming by the final mega-mix reprise. Yes, even me.

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