REVIEW: Back To Broadway - The Landmark Theatre 30/08/14

Ever since a young age dancing, singing and clapping along to my favourite songs gives me a sense of joy that can be sourced by nothing else. I was adamant that a night full of my favourite musical numbers was practically unmissable. Why wouldn't I want to give the audience the pleasure of hearing me screech out the words to Phantom of The Opera's Masquerade?! I've got to say it hit me hard when I was told by my mum that it was unlikely for us to make it in time due to an unexpected road closure. Of course, when you're in a rush every slow car in the country seems to be driving infront of you, then their was also the mishap of us sitting in the wrong seats and having to quickly run to the other door as the first number began. Despite all this we arrived in time to watch from the very start, a few minutes later and I wouldn't have been lucky enough to sing along to the whole of Copacabana!

Back To Broadway was a room of people coming together to celebrate everything that is great about musical theatre. The performances stretched from the heartbreakingly powerful Music of The Night and Empty Chairs at Empty Tables to the foot stompingly good classics of Does Your Mother Know, Disco Inferno and Footloose. The cast of eight performers have such a ridiculous amount of energy you begin to question whether they have just awoken from a ten year sleep. It's slightly overwhelming to start with but by the end the whole room, especially the whole front row, were grooving to their hearts content.

The stage had a very simple layout, and was set with a large signpost to Broadway at the very back. Lighting came in the form of six pillars of light which lined the stage. These were wonderfully eye catching and changed colour to set the mood for each number. For me they were used to their best throughout the three Les Mis performances where two were blue, two were white and two were red to create the image of the French flag.

Throughout the night a small addition between performances allowed the audience to learn the history and background of each musical before songs from that show were performed. Although I was aware of most, it was a nice touch and set the scene for the song to come. I also appreciated it all the more for the extra facts I wasn't aware of and it linked all the performances together. This meant that those without the programme were able to know what to expect and the names of the songs that were up and coming. This also allowed the cast members to perform something that wasn't taking part on stage- the quickest costume changes I've ever witnessed!

The costumes varied from song to song and somehow something as small as a black shiny waistcoat allowed the performers to change their look completely. The most eye catching of outfits was worn during With One Look from the musical Sunset Boulevard. She was completely covered from head to toe in a long dress and headpiece of a glittering silver which was enhanced through the use of lighting to create a shimmery effect. It was so drawing that you were completely in awe of such a simple performance unlike the majority it was just her on stage rather than a larger group.

Back To Broadway brought energy, charisma and all-round fun to the people of Ilfracombe. Throughout the final few songs the small room produced the same amount of energy I've seen previously at concerts. They were up out of their seats (myself included....not guilty at all!!) and clapped and threw themselves around in time to the well-known classics of Mamma Mia's very own Does Your Mother Know and Saturday Night Fevers Disco Inferno. I left the theatre with a massive grin spread across my face, singing each and every one of the songs and with a longing to perform alongside them in their fun and fantastic tour.

If the sound of this performance appeals to you and you fancy going to see something similair, the show Beyond The Barricade is at The Queens Theatre in Barnstaple on the 14th of September. This show also recreates a variety of songs from the West End and Broadway and I am very excited to review this within the next month.
If you would like to book tickets for Beyond The Barricade you can do so here

Back To Broadway is among a variety ofplays performed at North Devon Theatres and are all well worththe watch. (Website)

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