Dreamgirls is the Supremes-esque story of a three-piece girl group looking for their big break. Along the way there are fallings out, deceitful relationships, strained friendships and a self-serving, corrupt manager to contend with.
The show is bright and glamorous, with an intriguing set design comprising four banks of 12 intelligent lights. Added to this is an array of curtains and cloths, each more opulent than the last. The costumes match, with frills and feathers as far as the eye can see. It is, in essence, everything you would expect from a powerhouse Broadway show.
I went to see Dreamgirls just over a year ago and, at the time; I wasn’t a fan of the character Effie White. I found her selfish, arrogant and destructive. I looked forward to a return visit to see if, on a second viewing, I would warm to her and see her in a different light.
On the whole, I have to say that I still found Effie to be stubborn and not a team player. Yes, she is talented and looking for her break but she is working to her own agenda and not as part of the group. It is possible to sympathise with her later on when she gets betrayed by her manager, but she needs to takes some responsibility for her actions. In the reconciliation scene, the others apologise but Effie doesn’t. I know I am in the minority but, for me, it makes it hard to fully sympathise with her and her situation.
That said, the role is one which you must admire. The songs are powerful and the performance is impressive. In fact, it must be noted that whole company are exceptional. The show is full of energetic routines, highly charged emotional songs and fast-paced performances. The cast are also supported by a superb orchestra that ensure everyone is infected with the buoyant and lively music.
Overall the show is bright, joyful and engaging. The glamour of the show matches that of the beautiful Savoy Theatre and you will leave the show with the songs stuck in your head for days after. ‘That’s showbiz, that’s just showbiz!’
Dreamgirls tickets are currently booking until 1 September 2018, book your tickets now!
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