Rock of Ages

Wolverhampton Grand


Since it’s 2009 Broadway premiere, Rock of Ages has proved a crowd pleaser around the world, bringing a high octane mix of rock’n’roll excess and some classic 80’s tunes. It inspired a 2012 movie but I suspect it’s natural home is very much on stage.

Set in Los Angeles’s notorious Sunset Strip somewhere around the mid 1980s, the show is essentially a platform for some epic songs delivered by a collection of sometimes dodgy but always likeable characters. The storyline, such as it is, is paper thin but that’s absolutely fine. This is all about the music . . . and then some.  

The ingredients of good old rock debauchery are all there. Sex in the toilets, Jack Daniels on tap, tight leather trousers, suspicious white powder and guitar riffs aplenty from the obligatory stack of Marshall speakers. Just a typical Friday night down at The Bourbon Club. Heady times indeed and captured beautifully by a dynamic, strutting cast.  

Central to it all, of course, is the music. Rock Anthems like The Final Countdown, Keep on Loving You and We Built This City are turned up to 11 and played with real attack by onstage guitarists, Liam Stevenson and Alex Ward. Generally, the sound is huge for a theatre setting - more akin to a stadium experience - but in context it works perfectly.  

Unashamedly in the juke box musical category, there is nonetheless a genuine attempt in the writing to present some well drawn characters. Vaz Constanti as Hertz Klineman holds the narrative together and connects beautifully with the audience (be careful if you are a front row female!)  

The roller coaster, on and off love story between Sherrie (played with rock chick appeal by Gabriella Williams) and Drew the rock star wannabe (Sam Turrell) is sweetly played against the backdrop of party shenanigans and casual encounters.

Stephanie Chandos as Regina threatens to steal the show with some blistering vocals and ex Coronation Street sex symbol (his words), Kevin Kennedy, gives ageing rocker Dennis Dupree a lovable, slightly confused air, Clearly a man who has seen (and taken) a lot of things.  

Nick Winston’s choreography is sharp and edgy, played out on a suitably shabby, club-like set that reflects the rough edges of the various characters.  

Sexy, sultry and deliciously excessive, Rock of Ages is a blast of fresh, sweet smelling air.  

Channel your Rock God, and grab a ticket!

Tom Roberts


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