42nd Street - Mark Bramble & Michael Stewart
Director - Mark Bramble
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Showing until 04.10.17
Whilst Sheena Easton (remember her from Esther Rantzen's The Big Time..Modern Girl) is billed as the star in the role of Dorothy Brock. Clare Halse stars in equal measure as the dancer Peggy Sawyer. Last seen on the West End stage (at the same theatre) in 1984, this revival is nothing less than scintillating.
The story itself is simple. A backstage musical following the director, Julian Marsh as he attempts to put on his production of Pretty Lady. In a rags-to-riches story a girl from the chorus, Peggy Sawyer, gets her big break and becomes a star.
The set is wonderful with train stations and staircases appearing out of nowhere and giant hexagonal mirror s reflecting the choreography of the chorus girls. The dancing, choreographed by Randy Skinner is flawless with high energy tap dancing throughout the show. The dancing just gets better and better. The precision is extraordinairy. Clare Halse is so fast that she sounds like she has castanets on her feet instead of tap shoes. She is light and airy and never misses a beat. Sheena Easton has a warm and timbrous voice and makes an impressive West End debut.
The costumes by Roger Kirk, and there are many of them, all fit like gloves for every member onstage and are designed to create a spectrum of colour across the troupe. The costume changes from elaborate costume to elaborate costume are seamless and the ensemble of over fifty disappear and reappear effortlessly.
This is a musical in the old fashioned glamorous Hollywwod style. The production is perfection and fully deserves its review as musical theatre of the highest calibre.