Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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REVIEW | Rock of Ages UK Tour.

Suffolk Street Queensway, Birmingham B5 4DS, UK

Rock of Ages UK Tour
The Alexandra, Birmingham 

Rock of Ages is an absolute blast and it's journey to becoming the fully-formed spectacle was a tough one. The musical began its life back in July 2005 at a club on Hollywood Boulevard called King King before moving onto two bigger venues and a short hitch in Las Vegas. It made it's Broadway debut three years later in 2009 where it ran for nearly 2,500 performances across almost six years. The musical is probably more known for the 2012 film release which starred Tom Cruise.

I didn't know what to expect from this musical and it most certainly blew me away. The LA love story is set to over 25 classic rock anthems from the 1980s. Drew (Luke Walsh) is just a good guy who wants to be a rock star. Sherrie (Danielle Hope) also has dreams of becoming successful too. They both fall in love, a miscommunication separates them, and then they get back together again.

All of this takes place on the famous LA Sunset Strip, between two clubs: The Bourbon Room and Venus. The story is told by the hilarious Lonny (Lucas Rush) who really brings the story to life with his natural hilarity that had the audience in stitches. It's not a musical that takes itself seriously and it's very much a musical for fun and perfect escapism.

A lot of the hilarity not only comes from Lonny but deliberate intention to make the stories and characters as cheesy and predictable as possible. The music, singing, dancing and concert staging is first class and perfectly aligned with the story. Some of the classic, epic songs include The Final Countdown, Here I Go Again, I Want To Know What Love Is all played by a live band actor-musicians. This definitely helps to its effect of the musical.

Whilst the musical has bags of fun it doesn't mean to say the story strays away from having a heart to it. There are messages of writing from the heart, growing up and finding yourself, and learning just to let go are intertwined in all of the chaos that Rock of Ages is.

Collectively the casting is impeccable and each performer manages to execute the performance style for this show. You couldn't deny that their energy and flair was thrilling to watch! Lucas Rush excels in this show as Lonny; he is hilarious and completely at ease with his character. Luke Walsh is fantastic as Drew, particularly as he makes that transition from nice guy to rock star. Walsh really took the audience by surprise with some an outstanding voice, especially when strength came out of nowhere. It wouldn't surprise me if we saw him in more stuff in the future!

Danielle Hope is a long way from Kansas in this performance (she made her professional debut as Dorothy in Wizard of Oz in 2011!) and has grown into an incredible leading lady. Hope's performance as Sherrie is full of spirit and her vocals are next to none. She will be leaving the role in late November to hand over to Heather's Jodie Steele (who I am sure will do a cracking job too!) but you can feel all of the love Danielle Hope has for Sherrie's character and she will be missed.

Zoe Birkett has some killer powerhouse vocals in the role of Justice and it filled the entire theatre. She really does have a gorgeous and soulful voice.

The set and lighting design adds for a great effect that does give a concert atmosphere that is recognisable to the audience.

It's also important to make a nod to Nick Winston's flawless choreography that really kept the energy up throughout the performance. It was good to see my friend Alexander Day in the cast executing slick choreography!

I'd most definitely see this musical again! Rock of Ages is an absolute blast!

Rock of AGes is in Birmingham at the Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 17th November and then tours the UK until July 2019. Tickets can be purchased here

*complimentary tickets in return for an honest review.


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