Review: Boogie Nights @ Civic Theatre, Oswaldtwistle

First published in Stage

DIG out your flares and polish those platforms until they sparkle – the 1970s are back with a vengeance.

Boogie Nights is the latest hit show from Accrington Theatre Group, one of the country’s oldest theatre companies, who wowed local audiences last year with Jekyll and Hyde.

The West End smash-hit musical that tells the story of jack-the-lad Roddy and his childhood sweetheart Debs, both locals at Bromley’s Boogie Nights nightclub.

Their story takes in marriage, miscarriage, even the death of Elvis Presley, and is woven around your favourite disco classics including Boogie Wonderland, We Are Family, D.I.S.C.O, and Blame It On The Boogie.

While the story isn’t particularly original and some of the jokes should have been left in the 70s, the performances in this production are so impressive and the musical numbers so irresistible that they had the first night audience literally dancing in the stalls.

The large ensemble fill the Civic Theatre’s flashing disco floor with infectious energy and dance moves that would make John Travolta proud.

Both leads give stand-out performances with James Cockerill charming the crowd as cheeky-chappy Roddy and Nicola Avino showcasing her brilliant singing voice as Debs.

Excellent support is provided by Maria Masterman-Booth as the hilarious Trish, Josh Hindle as geeky Terry and Dawn-Marie Nicholls as feisty Lorraine.

Even the show’s director, Howard G Raw, gets in on the act with a scene-stealing performance as Elvis-obsessed Eamon.

Under Alex Markham’s musical direction, the band sound tight and funky. Particular musical highlights include a sensational, soulful Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word, an empowering I Will Survive and an electrifying Enough is Enough.

With audiences dressed up in their best disco gear, interval games and the grooviest tunes this side of 1977, Boogie Nights is a fun-packed night out for everyone.

Highly recommended.

Review by Ric Watts

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