Everything you need to know about the West End transfer of The Band
| By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels
(Updated on Jan 31, 2019)
Now dubbed the fastest selling musical theatre tour of all time, we're bringing you everything there is to know about this new musical by Olivier Award-winning dramatist, songwriter and screenwriter Tim Firth.
What exactly is The Band about?
The Band is a colourful new musical by Tim Firth celebrating boyband nostalgia and how friendships rule the world. The story begins in 1992 where we are introduced to a group of five 16-year-old girls (Rachel, Debbie, Zoe, Heather, and Claire) who also happen to be hardcore fans of "the band" during the '90s boyband craze.
Their love and obsession for "the band" follows them into adulthood as the story flashes forward to 25 years later when the girls have already fallen out of touch. One day, Rachel wins a radio contest for an all-expenses-paid holiday to Prague, complete with tickets to see "the band" in concert. Can the love they share for "the band" bring this group of friends back together and relight the fire in their fizzled-out friendship? The brand-new production features some of the greatest hits from Take That, Britain's most successful boyband of all time!
So, does that mean The Band is about Take That?
While the production features some of the best songs from Take That and was co-produced by former band members Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams, it is in fact NOT a story about the popular band.
So, for those of you wondering if Take That is just another rehash of the 2008 West End jukebox musical Never Forget, you can rest assured that this show is something fresh and new with a fully fleshed out storyline.
Also, make no mistake that Viva Forever! this ain’t. While the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! failed to spice up the lives of theatregoers and critics, Take That has already been met with thunderous applause. Peter Robinson of The Guardian praised the show’s attention to detail and said, “more than being a love letter to a particular pop era, The Band really feels like a thank-you letter to fans.”
What songs from Take That will be featured in the show?
The production will feature some of Take That's top-charting hits, including Relight My Fire (#1 on the UK charts), Back for Good (#1 on the UK charts), Rule the World (#2 on the UK charts), A Million Love Songs (#7 on the UK charts), Greatest Day (#1 on the UK charts), Shine (#1 on the UK charts), Never Forget (#1 on the UK charts), and The Flood (#1 on the UK charts).
A total of 14 hot tracks both old and new from the Take That discography are featured in The Band.
What does the musical's logo mean?
The logo for The Band is an arrangement of the five wristbands the young girls wear. The friends make a pact before the story flashes forward to 25 years later: "We won't ever lose touch. Swear it on the bands! Make them touch! They all have got to touch!"
Who wrote and directed The Band?
The Band was written by Tim Firth, who also wrote Gary Barlow’s critically-acclaimed musical The Girls based on the film Calendar Girls. The Girls musical won a WhatsOnStage Award for Best Regional Production. David Pugh and Dafydc Rogers from The Girls are also part of the production crew and most notably produced The Full Monty in 2013 and 2007’s notorious production of Equus in which Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe bared it all.
The Band is directed by British choreographer and ballet dancer Kim Gavin (Oh! What A Night, 125th Street, Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium, and Help for Heroes). Gavin is also known for starring in the original cast of Cats.
The Band is also co-directed by former BBC soap opera star Jack Ryder, who is perhaps best-known for playing Jamie Mitchell in EastEnders. However, he has since made a name for himself as a film and theatre director, having worked with Tim Firth for The Girls and serving as associate director for The Full Monty.
Most importantly, who is starring in The Band?
Members of the band Five to Five will be playing as the show’s eponymous band members. They were announced as the winners of the 2017 BBC One reality series Let It Shine, a talent show competition created by Gary Barlow that was specifically geared towards finding the stars for The Band’s nationwide tour. Let It Shine’s Five to Five boyband members include Curtis T Johns, Nick Carsberg, Yazdan Qafouri, AJ Bentley and Sario Solomon.
London’s West End run of The Band is set to premiere on 30 November 2018 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket with an official run from 1 December 2018 to 12 January 2019. London Theatre Direct tickets will go on sale on Sunday, 18 March 2018. “Never forget” that tickets to The Band are expected to sell out fast, so be sure to book your tickets sharpish and secure your spot at the Theatre Royal Haymarket this Christmas!
Buy your tickets to The Band in London here.