It’s very rare that I go to see a theatre show having no real idea what it’s about. And it’s even more rare for me to go and see a show, if I’m totally honest, that I actually wasn’t too bothered about seeing. I’d seen a musical based on Take That songs (a musical I love by the way!) and wasn’t in a big rush to see another one.
And usually I’ve heard all about what a show is about or already seen it 3 times (Wicked and Billy Elliot I’m looking at you guys!) but when Cardiff Mummy Says invited me to go with her to see The Band Musical I went along having no idea of the story.
I mean I knew about the music, it’s all Take That songs, and that the guys playing “The Band” were cast from a talent show, but I’d only seen about 10 minutes of the whole series, so apart from that my knowledge of the storyline was non existent.
The story starts by following 5 school friends, it’s 1992 and they’re 16. Their love for The Band is all consuming, and we watch their joy and promises they make each other for their future. All this dotted with the classic Take That songs, making for a bubbly, lively and thoroughly enjoyable start.
Tonight’s performance did experience some technical difficulties (though we’re not exactly sure what they were) which meant that the first half was stopped about half an hour in, and paused for 5 minutes, but it didn’t seem to interrupt the flow or the energy of the show.
The young cast were absolutely spectacular. Their acting just blew me away, being able to confidently hold an audience the way they did, they could have easily carried the entire show without an issue. Watching as the characters came from their first concert, making plans for their lives and making promises to each other gave me flashbacks to my own childhood, and I could have spent the evening watching them record Top of the Pops and making up dance routines. But of course the story continues.
I’m not going to give away too much about the storyline, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone going, but the story does then see the “girls” 25 years later. Did their lives go as they’d planned as teenagers? Spoilers ;)
I was surprised as to how the “Band” were incorporated into the story, more of background singers than the main show. It was very different, but I thought it worked great. It made for some very funny moments, and also meant that some of the famous Take That costumes and dance moves could be incorporated. It’s very difficult to properly explain their role (I guess you’ll just have to go see it if you really want to know!)
I did find that the sound could be a bit unbalanced between the cast and the band, both the musical band and the singers. A lot of the songs were punctuated by dialogue and sometimes this was lost as the songs and music were a touch too loud.
The lighting certainly gave the “rock concert” effect. Plenty of moving lights, dramatic changes and blinding flashes.
The adult cast were equally superb. The strong female characters were portrayed brilliantly, and the sense of historical friendship could really be felt.
More of Take That’s modern songs were incorporated, really bringing home how many people have literally grown up and loved the band through most of their lives.
I honestly believe that an audience can tell if the cast are genuinely enjoying themselves, and it gives a show an extra edge. This show certainly had that!
This evening I’ve laughed loudly, sobbed loudly, sang loudly and danced wildly.
It was a perfect night out to spend with partners, girlfriends, boyfriends or family! Basically anyone could go and see this, and I really think you’d have a fantastic time!
You may also have heard that 3 special guests turned up at the very end. Opening night of the new tour, and Garry, Howard and Mark made a special appearance and performance. Of course this made tonight’s trip extra special (not as special as if there’s been a chance for a selfie, but you can’t have everything!) but honestly, I’d have come away feeling as good as I did if the show had finished as it usually would. Take That showing up was pretty special, but the show holds its own as a truly fantastic night out.
If you want to get a taste for the show, and a guest appearance from Take That, head over to The Herniman House Facebook page, where you’ll find a live video of the performance! I will warn you though, the filming is VERY shaky! I’d sobbed and cheered until I was no longer able to hold a camera steady haha!!
The Band is showing in Cardiff at the Wales Millennium Centre from 9th-20th of January, and it’s exactly what you need to blow away the January blues.
Mrs H xxx
Disclaimer – I was given a ticket in exchange for a review of the show. All thought and opinions are honest and my own