The Band Musical – Press Night Review

Wow, just wow. I’m sitting on my train trying to comprehend the level of talent, professionalism, and pure accuracy that The Band Musical portrayed last night at the press night of Take That’s epic new musical. Manchester’s legendary Opera House was filled with celebrities, press, family, friends and tonnes of adoring Take That fans – both young and older all hoping to catch a glimpse of the one and only Take That.

I was lucky enough to have been invited to the press night, which I can’t thank Bill Elms enough for because anyone who knows me, knows I love all things Take That, so this was the invite of a lifetime for me and gave me an excuse to wear my new skirt from Topshop!

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Growing up practically surrounded by all things Take That, I had high expectations for the show, and I was really hoping that I wouldn’t be let down with what I saw, and I certainly wasn’t. Laughing, crying, nodding in agreement – The Band Musical is an emotional rollercoaster that takes you on a journey – a relatable journey that anyone who has ever loved a band can fully relate to. It perfectly captures what it was like to grow up loving a boyband in the 90s, but more importantly, beautifully captures the positive impact that a band can have on a persons life. A band is so much more than someone who creates music, a band can help you through your darkest times, a band can be there for you when no one else is,  a band can be the only normal thing in your life, and The Band Musical captures this sense of reality in a way that has never been done before.

Rachel Lumberg as Rachel with Five To Five as The Band in The Band, credit Matt Crockett

Photo: Matt Crockett

The storyline is not only relatable, it is entertaining and certainly moving. After a tragic event when 5 girls were 16 and loving their life obsessed with The Band, they sadly lost contact and more importantly lost a once unbreakable bond. Skip to 25 years later and after Rachel luckily wins a competition, the girls take a chance and reunite in Prague. Tugging on heartstrings, they relive the past and try to fulfil their dreams of seeing The Band just one last time. This trip to Prague is full of surprises, adventures and life realisations for these women, and one spontaneous act ends up with them in a Czech Police Station. The acting is flawless, and both younger and older cast of women capture the characteristics of their characters perfectly.

LtoR Alison Fitzjohn as Claire, Rachel Lumberg as Rachel, Emily Joyce as Heather and Jayne McKenna as Zoe in The Band, credit Matt Crockett

Five To Five, I mean come on ladies – not only are they all very pleasing on the eyes but they are vocally incredibly talented too! Winners of ‘Let It Shine’ these 5 boys fit the boyband image perfectly. AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Curtis T Johns, Yazdan Qafouri and Sario Solomon vocals and dance moves are on point from start to finish, and once they enter that stage you can not take your eyes off them! The high level of energy that they put into every song and every dance move pays off, and leaves you with a flawless performance of incredible vocals, hip thrusts and synchronised dance moves!

LtoR AJ Bentley, Curtis T Johns, Sario Solomon, Nick Carsberg and Yazdan Qafouri in The Band, credit Matt Crockett

Photo: Matt Crockett

There were plenty of surprises throughout the night with the final surprise being Take That coming on stage to sing a few songs, shortly followed by LuLu who burst onto the stage during relight my fire, and let me tell you, the crowd went WILD!

From start to finish, Take That mania flooded the Opera House and the atmosphere was indescribable – you should’ve seen the foyer when everyone realised the only thing separating them and Gary Barlow (who had simply stepped into view of us all inside the foyer) was a security guy trying his best to stop the hoard of adoring fans getting to Gary. What was so heartwarming to see was the wide range of fans in the audience. Fans old to young, fans that had evidently reunited for the production wearing their old merchandise, and new fans who were warmly welcomed into the family. Something that I found incredibly heartwarming was a number of mothers there with their daughters – sharing a special moment where for once, their worlds can collide. I spoke to The Band superfan Emily who expressed just how proud she was of the cast, crew and everyone involved. Speaking about the production she said, “it is a truly beautiful show, and I know that I will never get fed up of seeing it. It brings me so much happiness! I have seen the show 4 times now, and I have got so many more shows booked” 

If you’ve ever loved a band, I highly recommend getting yourself tickets to The Band Musical, and you will not regret it. From start to finish you will be singing, dancing and crying. It was honestly, one of the best musicals I have seen – and as we all know, I love musicals! You could tell just how much effort the cast and crew had put into it, and it really, really did pay off. An incredibly beautiful musical, which I will certainly be seeing again.

 

 

 

 

 

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