Theatre Review: Rock Of Ages, Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Image Source: Knutsford Guardian

Written By: Alison Jones

Format: Musical
Genre: Comedy
Date: October 23 2018
Location: Empire Theatre, Liverpool

My friend and I took our seats, suitably attired in leather jackets, and we were transported back to the 80s right from the opening bars of the show.

Chris d’Arienzo’s Rock of Ages proved to be a great evening’s entertainment. It has a good storyline, comedy, extremely-talented vocalists and exceptional dancers. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was definitely not disappointed.

The music was loud, the trousers were tight and the hair was very, very big! There were some raunchy dancing typical of the 80s rock videos (t*ts, ass and eyeliner) and we ended up on Sunset Strip in LA.

The aspiring rock God named Drew, played by Luke Walsh, and the actress wannabe Sherrie, played by Danielle Hope, make their way to LA, and we watch their individual journeys of love, hope and disappointment. Their singing, dancing and acting were excellent and believable.

Drew starts to make it big while Sherrie starts work as a pole dancer. Eventually, they are reunited, but while all this is happening, an evil German property tycoon wants to bulldoze the sunset strip to make way for plush new developments! (Of course he is unsuccessful …)

Lucas Rush as Lonny the narrator steals the show; his great comedic banter and timing with the audience making him extremely popular. Additionally, some crystal-clear vocals come from Zoe Birkett in the role of Justice, who was just marvellous. One criticism, though, was the slight sound distortion in the theatre throughout the vocal duets, which slightly spoiled the experience.

There was a great performance by Kevin Kennedy as Dennis the bar-owner on the strip – we all know a Dennis – and the rest of the cast rocked too. The audience were lively and appreciative throughout, and we were on all our feet for Don’t Stop Believin’.

A special mention too to the band, who coped very well with the classic rock anthems and gave a really professional performance. The numbers included We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight This Feeling and I Want To Know What Love Is.

Overall, Rock Of Ages is a brilliant, uplifting show. It rocked our world, people!

Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding