REVIEW | 42nd Street - Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London


42nd Street
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. 
★★

42nd Street has been on my list of shows I've got to see since it opened on 4 April 2017 and the raving reviews have made it difficult to resist. 42nd Street has a reputation for its breathtaking choreography and classic theatricality, bringing with it the sparkle and glamour of traditional Broadway to the West End in flawless capacity. 

From the iconic opening of tap shows tapping away as the curtain slowly rises and the harmony of the cast in time, it becomes the show that you'll be talking about for weeks. We're always excited for a new musical to take the stage in the London's West End scene and make its mark. But, in fact, there's nothing more enjoyable than a musical with so much history and heart at the centre of it all returning to the theatre and 42nd Street is certainly that. 

The story follows thriving theatre producer Julian Marsh, played by former Emmerdale actor Tom Lister, as he puts on the next big hit musical Pretty Lady amongst the Great Depression. To guarantee him the big bucks he casts Broadway star Dorothy Brock (Lulu) as the leading lady. A young woman from a small town called Pennsylvania, Peggy Sawyer (Clare  Halse), arrives late looking for a job in the chorus line. She becomes an automatic hit with the show's leading man, but maybe not so much anyone else in the company. Further down the line, Brock breaks her ankle and Sawyer steps up to become the leading lady. 

But of course, 42nd Street is crammed with songs by Al Dubin and Harry Warren, brought to life by the sound and fury of tapping feet, illuminated by dazzling colour. There isn't a tap out of line and it was an instant hit with me for sure!  


There is a real art in the layers of artifice built up to create this fantastic musical, the line between what's real life and what's happening on stage is completely blurred. Sets represent sets, costumes double as costumes and actors play actors. It's a really mesmerizing thing and is flawless at every tone. 

Every musical number, including familiars such as the title 42nd Street and Keep Young and Beautiful are the centrefold of what the musical is iconic for. The choreography builds to a huge climax and each performance is unforgettable, with an inevitable cast of 48. when its good, it's flipping fantastic! Of course, the costumes do a good job in helping too, the eye to detail brings out all of the best in Broadway Glamour. 

Without a doubt, Clare Halse gives off a strong performance as Peggy Sawyer. She is a phenomenal dancer, she moves so fast through the routines and with such an eye for precision it's hard to keep up with her! She's got fantastic acting skills too and has the perfect combination of optimism and bewilderment, with a sharp comic sense that really brings Sawyer to life. 




I really loved the performance from Jasna Ivir. She is hilarious as Pretty Lady's composer Maggie Jones and Lulu as Dorothy Brock also gave a fantastic performance. Though I couldn't help but notice the number of people in the audience discussing the size of her heels! 

42nd Street is an unbelievable musical that has the sparkle, glamour, and choreography that gives off the biggest WOW factor - I'd definitely recommend that you and go see it next time you're in London. 

I was lucky enough to snap up £22 tickets for 42nd Street by using my TodayTix app on my phone. The app does Rush Tickets on 42nd Street (I'm not sure if it's on any other productions but well worth checking out). For every performance, a limited number of Stalls and/or Royal Circle release £25 Rush tickets that will be made available, on a first-come basis. To unlock this feature you just simple need to spread the word about the production on social media via the app. I managed to snap up £22 on row L in the stalls by using this feature and couldn't have asked for a better view throughout the production. It's definitely worth checking out. 



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