On Thursday the 9th of June, I attended the Matinee performance of The Cher Show; at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal. The afternoon delivered entertainment and joy to the audience. However, there are some things that could have been modified to turn this entertaining production into an exceptional one.
The Story of The Cher Show:
The Cher Show, shares Cher’s incredible journey through three individual characters: Babe, Lady and Star. The book compiled by Rick Elice. The Book, is creative, sharp and beautifully put together. For the first time, we get to fully understand Cher’s story, as Cher navigates fame, stardom, success and failures. Cher’s life is remarkable and quite extraordinary. This show certainly celebrates the icon’s tale.
Direction was intelligently put together by Dame Arlene Phillips. Using symbolic staging and creative connections throughout the plot. The audience understanding was a much deeper level due to great direction.
All 3 Cher’s shared characteristics, while having their own uniqueness for where they are in the story. The direction by Arlene, allowed the three Cher’s to interact independently as characters with one another, while seamlessly bleeding into one; Cher.
Oti Mabuse took on the choreographer role for this production. The choreography was stylized to each era, which was enjoyable to watch as the show progressed throughout the years. However, some of the choreographic choices were puzzling… Complete with a tap number and a fast line dance style hoedown choreography to a ballad. It felt as if some pieces of choreography were added for the sake of adding more, which felt disjointed and awkward.
The jazz pieces were exceptional! Although for the staging, the amount of set and the amount of dancers, the dancing felt quite constrained due to space. This constraint, made it feel like the energy was dropping, with sloppy and unclean sections. With modification, the choreography could be much better. But overall the choreography was to a good standard.
The casting behind this immense show lied with Will Burton. What an incredible job he did! Throughout the run at Nottingham Theatre Royal, the role of Babe was played by Jasmine Jules Andrews.
The three actresses who played the role of Cher, Jasmine Jules Andrews (Babe), Danielle Steers (Lady) and Debbie Kurup (Star); were powerhouses. Their performances were enough to carry the entire show, with mighty voices and moving acting performances. For Jasmine this is her professional debut, keep an eye on her, she is going to go far! The power of Jasmine’s performance is not to be underestimated, but with more experience her execution will become more refined to the likes of Danielle and Debbie.
Danielle Steers’ and Debbie Kurup’s performances were of the highest level, raw talent, raw emotion; both gave sensational presentations. The research that went into the characters, has not gone unnoticed. This was no tribute show, this was an outstanding celebration of Cher’s work and life.
The leads and ensemble gave such great performances, high energy and great commitment to character. But while the show will undoubtedly revolve around the role of Cher, Jasmine, Danielle and Debbie stole the show.
Costume went all out for this production, the costume department executed each era and Cher’s style within every garment.
The set was minimalist but worked in contrast to the show, if the set had been more it could have risked being too much on the eyes of the audience.
Special effects were like those you would expect to see at a Cher concert, however this needed to be dialed down slightly for the theatre. Wincing from audience members due to bright lights and the sheer volume of the effects and sounds were overbearing at times. The effects were complimentary of the show, but need to be dialed down slightly for the comfort of the audience as this was not an arena tour.
The production team overall delivered a really high standard of show.
If you want a feel good show, this show will do just that! The entire auditorium joined the cast in the bows by standing and singing along to some of the greatest hits! A great musical, with some show-stopping performances, I advise anyone to go to this show just to witness Danielle and Debbie deliver some Cher magic!