Rosa and Ray

Alexia McIntosh as Rosa and AJ Jenks as Ray in Godiva Rocks. Picture: Robert Day

Godiva Rocks

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry


A brilliant idea to write a Coventry musical, correction THE Coventry Musical, but it just seems a wasted opportunity.

It missed the mark in so many ways that it feels as though too many compromises were made in its production.

It is such a shame since Coventry has a proud, loud and well-documented history that was largely ignored by this piece. Where was Frank Ifield’s iconic I Remember You, or Vince Hill’s Edelweiss, The Special’s Ghost Town . . . ?

The story? Here goes. Coventry property developer Leo aka Ray Freeman (Ross Gurney-Randall and A  J Jenks as the young Ray) has acquired by dubious means and runs The Orchid Ballroom where girl group The Jaguars (including Alexia McIntosh  as Rosa – great voice) have a chance to perform to Phil Spectre.

It’s December 1964 and the wrecking ball swings outside as the evening ends in chaos. Young sweethearts, Leo’s daughter Nell aka Bangles (Georgie Ashford) and Patrick (Lejaun Sheppard) are stalled in their love by the dirty, little secret of that night. Niki Evans as Bev, Leo’s wife, saved the day with the most heartfelt Blue Velvet ever.

Madeleine Harland as Dee also was great, brought great energy to her role and added immeasurably to the show. The band, hidden by screens for most of the show, was fantastic and Aitch on drums is always a treat.

It was a struggle to work out the story as it was confusing with too many inconsequential twists and turns plus the leading man insisted on delivering most of his lines to the back of the stage so it was impossible to hear. The whole section about some tape was an unnecessary sideline that confused things even more.  All right, I’m not from Coventry, don’t really DO popular culture but I know enough about Coventry’s musical past to know that there is lots to celebrate and this didn’t do it. I loved the finale of Enjoy Yourself that was just plain joyous. Written by Alan Pollock and dire ted by Hamish Glen, Coventry Rocks until  21-10-17

Jane Howard


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