BWW Review: ROCK OF AGES, King's Theatre, Glasgow
Set sometime in the 1980's, Rock of Ages takes place in The Bourbon Rooms on Sunset Strip. The wafer-thin plot centers around the potential closure of the club and the owners arranging for washed up rock star Stacee Jaxx to perform his last ever gig with his band Arsenal in their venue.
Lucas Rush plays Lonny, who acts as the show narrator. While initially I found the character quite grating, I definitely warmed to him as the night went on. Lonny brings a pantomime-like quality to the production, breaking the fourth wall to interact with the audience and making jokes about the 2012 film version of the musical- 'who would have put Curly Watts in the same casting bracket as Alec Baldwin?'.
Kevin Clifton is the newest addition to the cast with Glasgow being his big musical debut. While it was hard to picture the impossibly nice man from Strictly Come Dancing as sleazy Stacee Jaxx, he took to the role very well. Belting out "Wanted Dead Or Alive" he certainly has the vocals to lead a musical and his stage presence is excellent.
The musical highlights for me come from the two leading ladies of the show. Jodie Steele was an absolute joy as Sherrie- a character who falls into just about every cliché going but still manages to come off as empowered. Zoe Birkett is always a delight to watch and she plays Justice, the owner of the local strip club. Both Steele and Birkett have voices that would send chills down your spine and are well suited to these big rock anthems.
Rock of Ages isn't without it's problems. The rampant misogyny is cringe worthy and there's far more crotch thrusting than I would care for. The female characters are treated terribly (with some not even being given names such as Waitress Number 1) but there are just enough big belting numbers from Sherrie and Justice to almost make up for it.
It might not be perfect and the plot is utter nonsense but Rock of Ages is undeniably fun. The classic rock songs are fantastic, the cast are exceptional and the overall result is a huge spectacle that is the epitome of a feel-good show.
Rock of Ages is at the King's Theatre, Glasgow until Saturday 26th January.