Hair – The Musical

Hair – The Musical
50th Anniversary UK Tour
★★★★★

I saw this production last year at The Vaults in London with a different cast and the question was: would I love it as much? The answer is a resounding YES!!! But don’t ask me to pick a favourite.

The music is the same of course (and Gareth Bretherton reprises his role as Musical Director), with many of the songs having become classics over the years, and one of the reasons I love this musical so much. And another reason is the humour of the script, despite the serious background of the Vietnam War, and that it is still able to shock, or at least, take the audience out of their comfort zone, especially today.

The cast in this production is excellent throughout, full of talent, enthusiasm and sparkle and their enjoyment on stage, which was palpable, soon swapped over to the audience, who loved every minute of it, right through to the standing ovation and the encore where some audience members were invited to join the tribe on stage to give a rousing rendition of ‘Let the Sunshine in’.

Jake Quickenden is great as Berger, the charismatic leader of the tribe and Paul Wilkins is excellent as the conflicted Claude who has to chose between freedom and duty to his country. I also loved Daisy Wood-Davis as Sheila, the personification of the free-spirited, yet vulnerable, peace-loving, yet fierce hippie chick. Natalie Green, who was part of the Vault’s tribe, has a great stage presence and gave a wonderful performance as Cassie. Tom Bales is great as Glowy and hilarious as Margaret Mead, having the whole audience in stitches. But seriously, everybody deserves a mention, as this is a production that depends on a strong supporting cast, so take a bow Alison Arnopp (Jeanie), Marcus Collins(Hud), Louise Francis (Raven), David Heywood (Jackson), Bradley Judge (Woof), Aiesha Pease (Dionne), Laura Sillett (Helena), Spin (Tajh), Kelly Sweeney (Crissy).

I love the costumes and the set (both designed by Maeve Black) which does not require any changes apart from the cleverly used lighting (by Ben M. Rogers).

As one of the oldies – and hippie at heart at that – in attendance, it felt strange to be one of the few people in the theatre (cast and audience), who actually remembered the Vietnam War, but I guess the theme of wanting a world filled with peace and love is timeless and universal, we just seem to have forgotten about it.  Hair – The Musical will remind you of it.

The tribe is on tour until August, covering the length and breadth of England, Scotland and Wales, as well a quick hop over the Channel to Cologne in Germany.

For tour dates please visit the website www.hair50.com

If you want to read our review from last year’s The Vaults performance, you can find it here.

 

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