7-12 July 2014
Reviewed by Lora Hole
My husband and I were excited to go and watch Rock of Ages at the Bristol Hippodrome. Rock of Ages is a love story set to 80s rock music. It is a wonderful mix of music and comedy with just the right amount of cheesiness thrown in!
The Hippodrome is located in Bristol city centre and although there is no parking onsite, there are plenty of car parks nearby within easy walking distance of the theatre. The theatre is an old Edwardian theatre and has lots of original features making it look grand and lavish. Upon arrival, we were greeted by staff dressed in rock outfits with 80s wigs. We thought it was good fun and set the atmosphere for the evening ahead. We were unsure of where our seats were located so had to ask the staff for directions and they were very friendly and helpful.
The theatre has an intimate feel to it, as it holds just under 2000 people, which we liked as it felt like there were no bad seats and everyone was close to the action. Our seats were in the stalls centre stage and just over halfway back. We had a fantastic view and didn’t miss a thing.
The show started on time and with a bang! The opening song was Just Like Livin’ In Paradise and got the crowd into the mood for a night full of rock music. We were introduced to Lonny played by Stephen Rahman-Hughes who narrated the whole show in a comical fashion. He was one of the highlights of the show for us and entertained the crowd all night!
Rock of Ages is set on the Sunset Strip on Sunset Boulevard and the opening scenes are set in The Bourbon Room Bar. The love story is set up between two ambitious characters hoping to make it big and there are the usual ups and downs. Stacee Jaxx was hilarious and Ben Richards did a great job of portraying him as an arrogant rock God who had all the ladies falling at his feet. Daniel Fletcher played the bar owner, Dennis Dupree. He was one of our favourite characters as he added humour at the right times and there was a nice chemistry between him and Lonny. We particularly enjoyed their solo dance! Noel Sullivan plays the leading male, Drew and Cordelia Farnworth plays the leading lady, Sherrie. They both gave believable performances and delivered the songs well. We were impressed with Noel’s long note towards the end of the show.
The plot was quite predictable but that was part of the humour of the play. The band was incredible! They were set up on stage and performed all the songs live and were an integral part of the show. We liked that the band was made part of the show and not hidden away like in musicals we have seen before as, for us, they made the night.
We really enjoyed ourselves and Rock of Ages exceeded our expectations. We would recommend this to anyone who enjoys rock music and wants an evening of singing and dancing. Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ was the closing song and the show ended in the same fashion it began. The standing ovation at the end says it all.
Tickets cost from £12.90 to £41.40 (plus £4 transaction fee).
Rock of Ages is at the Bristol Hippodrome until 12 July. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3012.
Bristol Hippodrome, St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol, BS1 4UZ | 0844 871 3012