BWW Review: MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, Edinburgh Playhouse

BWW Review: MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, Edinburgh Playhouse

BWW Review: MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, Edinburgh Playhouse

Motown the Musical tells the story of Berry Gordy- the man credited with making motown music a success. Played by the charismatic Edward Baruwa, Gordy gives up on his early dreams of becoming a boxer and establishes his own record company.

It's a great story, but the telling of it is definitely flawed. A couple of moments that seem like major plot points were just glossed over to make way for multiple musical performances. Gordy originally struggled to get 'coloured' music played on popular radio stations but suddenly the genre blew up and they were booking tv appearances with little information about how that came about. After watching the performance, I had to do an internet search to check a couple of plot points because I didn't feel that they were overly clear from the show.

Motown the Musical boasts over 50 of your favourite motown hits throughout the show the songs featured are undeniable classics as Gordy launched the careers of the likes of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Jackson 5. The problem is that few songs are able to be performed in their entirely due to the way they've been crammed in. For certain tracks you only get a line or two and it feels like it is doing a disservice to the music.

A slightly bizarre moment in the show was during a Diana Ross ballad where Ross (played by Karis Anderson) pulled a couple of audience members out of the crowd to sing along to a song that they didn't know. Anderson then led the entire venue in a sway-along to the track but it seemed a bit over indulgent when so many more interesting parts of the show had been rushed through.

Motown the Musical is a huge spectacle of a show. The set changes are incredibly smooth, the costumes are great and the big song and dance numbers are a lot of fun. Although I would have liked to have heard more of the story and perhaps fewer songs, that might have impacted on the feel-good aspect of the musical.

Motown The Musical runs at the Edinburgh Playhouse until Saturday 8th December.

Photo credit: Tristram Kenton

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From This Author Natalie O'Donoghue

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