Four stars for Motown The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre

Four stars for Motown The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre

Updated On: May 1, 2018
By Nicki McIntyre
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    Motown The Musical opened at London's Shaftesbury Theatre last night, receiving four star reviews from The Telegraph and The Stage.

    Dominic Cavendish of The Telegraph said: "Superb performances and a gilded back-catalogue make this musical an urgent rallying cry for us all to rediscover our Motown mojo."

    Motown The Musical is "a lavish, slick, song-crammed show, first seen on Broadway in 2013. In its triumphant new West End incarnation...it puts such a spring in its audience’s step, you may well see people dancing in the street along Shaftesbury Avenue," he said. As Berry Gordy, Cedric Neal is "so likeable...tireless...a sizzling-hot American import who sings, dances and anchors scene after scene."

    "Bolstered by ingenious, fast-moving, projection-enlivened scenery, expert choreography and sure direction from Charles Randolph-Wright... among the stand-out performances are Lucy St Louis as Diana Ross... Charl Brown is a bashful and candy-voiced Smokey Robinson; Sifiso Mazibuko a brooding, increasingly politicised Marvin Gaye; Jordan Shaw a shades-wearing, head-nodding simulacrum of Stevie Wonder. Almost stealing the show, though, on opening night, was 12-year-old Eshan Gopal, one of five kids sharing the role of Michael Jackson as a nipper, belting out ABC and more."

    The Stage's Mark Shenton also gave Motown The Musical four stars, calling it "the ultimate jukebox musical...musicals don't get more more like a parade of wall-to-wall hits than this."

    He said: "The execution of director Charles Randolph-Wright's sleekly-designed production is absolutely faultless, as is the work of the music department led by musical supervisor Ethan Popp and musical director Gareth Weedon, and the glorious pumping energy created by Peter Hylenski's sound design."

    As for the cast, Diana Ross is "impersonated with uncanny vocal accuracy by Lucy St Louis here, and physically represented by her trademark flamboyant costumes, brilliantly summonsed by Esosa... There are also appearances by a politicised Marvin Gaye, a bouncing young Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Martha Reeves, The Temptations and the Four Tops, among others, but the biggest star of the evening turns out to be Gordy himself, as played by Cedric Neal with a sincere, troubled earnestness and a fantastic voice of his own."

    Motown The Musical tickets are currently booking at the Shaftesbury Theatre until Saturday 18 February 2017.

  • Book Motown The Musical Tickets
    Motown The Musical
    The songs. The sound. The story. Discover the story of the legendary record label that changed music history and created the soundtrack of a generation with Motown The Musical....
    From £22.90