Reviewed by Tammy and Anthony Wildblood
We, as a couple, love our romantic films as they are like a fantasy and this iconic 80’s movie of An Officer and a Gentleman is all that. This is mainly because the film is based on the true-life experience of film director Douglas Day Stewart with a few rough edges added to the main character Zack. The love story that goes along with it together with the singing, music and overall happy go lucky performance makes it a perfect film to watch. We were delighted to get the chance to see his production, after all the film was amazing so it would be difficult to top it… surely!!
As this is our first time at visiting the Hippodrome, we didn’t have a clue where to park but we found a car park which was at the Arcadian and we paid £7 for parking and that meant we didn’t have to pay when we left the show, so we could just go back to the car and leave. After walking around for a bit, we did manage to find a number of car parks around the area which were all within a 5 minute walk and all were priced roughly the same apart from one on Thorp Street which would of cost £4.50 so we will definitely use this one next time.
The Hippodrome itself is situated in the China Town area of Birmingham and if you weren’t hungry, then you soon would be by the time you got to theatre as the food smelt amazing. There were numerous bars and restaurants to eat at if you wanted to make a day or night of it. When we approached the Birmingham Hippodrome, it looked like a really modern building from the outside with a bright advertising board lighting the area up with what’s on. When entering inside the main area of the theatre it looks modern with plenty of bars and seating for you take in the atmosphere along with stairs, steps and many different areas which we felt suited everybody.
We sat down in our seats and it would be hard not to notice the backdrop as it fills the stage from floor to ceiling, it was an extremely large projected screen showing all the events that happened in the 80’s along with music and news reports. It was great entertainment as we were putting ourselves to the test by guessing who they all were or what event had happened so I it was a great way to start the show.
It all started with the floor shaking and the song ‘IN THE NAVY NOW’ as it starts to ring around, and the cast enter the stage. From the very first lyric that was sung, you could tell that this performance was going to be special. This is where you get introduced to Emil Foley played by Ray Shell he was the SGT and by lord he played it to a tee, he had us believing that he was actually in the Navy and was an SGT as his voice bellowed around the theatre and his all-round performance was superb and he even had his own twist on his lines. He had the audience in laughter in parts and he gave an all-round quality performance.
Casey Seegar, AKA Ghetto Girl played by Keisha Atwell, was trying to become the first woman in Navy history to earn the right to be a jet pilot and throughout the play the audience warmed to her and hoped that she made it. Casey played her sassy and ghetto character with great belief and at the end when she did graduate and become a pilot; the audience was so pleased for her and were shouting and cheering so it just shows you how believable the performance was. Casey was a top performer and a very good actor.
Sid Worley, played by Ian Mcintosh, was the posh kid who had posh parents, his all-round vocal performance was superb and boy he could sing. Singing in the hit ‘I WAS MADE LOVING YOU,’ this is where his voice really come to life and filled the theatre. Ian’s acting and stage presence was second to none.
Bad boy Zack Mayo, played by Jonny Fines, was played down to a tee, he was just pure class! At first, we were unsure of him as we felt that he loved himself too much but then realised this was all part of his character so realised that his acting was sensational. We realised this after a few scenes and songs. His singing of the hits ‘HEARTS ON FIRE’ with this scene being one of my favourites on the night and then ‘BLAZE OF GLORY’ was just pure class. All-round performance was just brilliant and we could not fault him at all so he deserved the standing ovation.
Lynette Pomeroy, played by Jessica Daley, was really good, her singing was good too but her acting came into force when on stage with her lover Sid. You could tell that the two of them just loved working together because you could tell the chemistry between them was great. Her singing in the hit’s ‘GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN’ and ‘I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS’ was her two best hits on the night.
Every other actor who was in the production was great too but someone for us just stood out from the rest due to her sensational and fairytale singing and acting and that was Paula Pokrifki, played by Emma Williams. From the very first song she sang to the very last was outstanding and had you daydreaming and her voice just travelled all around the room and had you wanting for her to sing more. Her singing off the hit ‘ALONE’ was one that everyone just loved and I would really love to hear this again and again, you would have thought that the original artist who sang the song was on stage singing it that’s just how well it was sung.
I would recommend anyone of all ages to go and watch this production as it is not to be missed and it is a bargain for the price for all theatre lovers!! This theatre production of a very popular film back in the 80’s with the added twist of 80’s songs added into it makes this a well deserving and triumphant show and we ourselves are planning to go and watch it again and hopefully will be taking family members too. This is a 100% MUST SEE show and personally is better than the film. Even if you don’t like theatre, you will love the singing of some all-time greatest hits of times like TOY SOLDIERS, MATERIAL GIRL and the iconic song which makes the film UP WHERE WE BELONG.
THE OFFICER DEFINITELY BECOMES THE GENTLEMAN.
Superb all-round cast and loved it.
Tickets cost from £23 (booking/transaction fee may apply).
An Officer and a Gentleman is at the Birmingham Hippodrome from 15-19 May 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com or call the box office on 0844 338 5000.
Birmingham Hippodrome, Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB | 0844 338 5000