Arts, Venue

Interlude: Hair the musical

Following a successful two week run of shows on campus, INTERLUDE@UEA is ready to draw to a close, with its final performance, Hair: The Musical.

The star-studded cast of major West End names include the Olivier-nominated Frances McCann,  Cleve September and Layton Williams. Directed by former BBC Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips, this Paul Taylor-Mills production comes fresh from its sold-out run at the Turbine Theatre at Battersea Power Station, London.

HAIR is a tribal love rock musical that celebrates counterculture in the 1960s but is hugely powerful and relevant today as it examines what it is to be a young person in a changing world. In this specially produced concert version, get ready to groove to an infectiously energetic rock beat with songs like AquariusGood Morning, Starshine, HairI Got Life and Let The Sun Shine. The show explores themes of coming of age, peace, and freedom.

Photo: Max Hilton, Norwich Theatre

As I sat shivering in the Interlude tent tonight, the stage was suddenly filled by the warmth of T’Shan Williams’ voice. Soulful and rich, her voice got the audience moving in their seats and battling the cold wind of the outside.

The cast were so lively and spent most of the show dancing. The energy on the stage was contagious and their presence made the audience feel comfortable and want to dance along with them. The atmosphere in the tent was incredible.

Costume choices were incredible and each piece was so cleverly selected to fit the time the musical was set in. There were also some really interesting choices for the digital screen on the stage. There were visual images and videos of current issues around climate change while the songs of the musical were being performed. This acted as a really interesting contrast between then (the time the musical was set in) and now. Though the musical is set in the 60’s, I loved how the production team made it relevant to today and it really made the audiences go away thinking.

Though there wasn’t so much a clear plot in the musical, the themes shone through when the cast were singing and the lyrics told the story of struggling for freedom and about being young and questioning your identity and place within the world. The most successful part of this production was the singing from the cast. Every single performer was highly talented and it was a top-notch show. Stand out performers for me were T’Shan Williams , Jodie Steele and Jordan Luke Gage I was in awe at their talent and they really lit up the stage. Every cast member was fantastic, so I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see and hear more of certain characters, like Crissy (Frances McCann) and Hud(Layton Williams). But nonetheless the show was fantastic and each performer was truly brilliant.

The final number was so engaging and got the audience up on their feet and dancing despite the cold! This is a must-see show, so grab your coats (and blankets) and get ready for an unforgettable night of music and vibrance.

You can still buy tickets to see the show on Saturday and Sunday

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Leia Butler and Roo Pitt

June 2021
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