Review: The Band at the Wolverhampton Grand

Writer: Tim Firth

Music: Take That

Director: Kim Gavin and Jack Ryder

It was just under a year and a half ago when the The Band started touring the UK, but now as the tour is near the end, it captures the emotional depth of the story to create a truly memorable life-affirming musical.

Tim Firth models the musical around a tragic story, based on a real event and focuses on the bonds of everlasting friendship. Firth creates a witty script but one that keeps its feet firmly on the ground to make a relatable, sentimental production.

The songs of Take That form an integral part of the story and act as a choral underscore for the production to heighten emotional moments. They songs are performed mainly by a five piece boyband who are cherished by this group of friends, both when they were young and old. The live concert sections do create a real buzz atmosphere to capture the atmosphere of a concert and that helps to give the audience a great night out.

Original Members of Five to Five: AJ, Curtis T Johns, Yazdan Qafouri,and Sario Solomon join with Harry Fabulous Brown to form the boyband for tonight’s performance. Their harmonies were tight and the slightly reworked versions of Take That songs help to create some real tear jerking moments.

Both sets of actors who play the young and older versions of the leading ladies pull off great performances but Rachel Lumberg is a huge success in the role of Rachel. Lumberg’s performance is not only relatable but thoroughly convincing and honest. Rachelle Diedericks also creates a really sincere role as the young Debbie. Her innocence strikes a chord throughout the piece and her bond with her fellow cast makes some really lovely moments.

The Band is a well-crafted production that doesn’t over-rely on the music which forms its soundtrack. It’s a nostalgic, entertaining throwback to a time different to today in many ways, but the theme of friendship shines through and makes a heartwarming, poignant story which cleverly weaves in a back catalogue of Take That songs.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

5money*A complimentary ticket was given in exchange for this review. This value for money rating is based on the ticket price value of £44.50 + £3.00 Booking Fee. For more info on this value for money rating please visit here: Introducing a new kind of rating

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