WOW! Where to start?
Having never been a fan of Take That, or indeed boy bands in general, I was a little apprehensive as to what lay in store when entering the Wales Millennium Centre for the opening night of ‘The Band’.
The night was memorable and the performance totally unmissable!
For the first time in Cardiff, this wonderful new musical by Tim Firth hit all the right notes and pushed more emotional buttons than the audience could possibly have prepared themselves for.
A delightful mix of dialogue and song, the story follows teenage friends, Rachel, Heather, Debbie, Claire and Zoe, as they share their love of music and the same boy band.
The girls are full of life, funny with a deep friendship that binds them together. They share their inner most thoughts and aspirations. Rachel declaring that she wants to marry all the members of the band and Debbie agreeing to be her bridesmaid.
Debbie wins tickets to a concert in Manchester and the girls set off on their big adventure seeing the band, missing the last train home and having to make it part way home on the bus.
This musical is a coming of age story that every teenager has experienced even if musical tastes do change you never forget your teenage loves.
The two greatest sensory markers in our lives are music and smell, they have the ability to transport us instantly to another time and place whilst bringing to the forefront our greatest and most precious memories.
Move on 25 years and Rachel has moved away and the girls have all lost touch. Then Rachel wins a radio competition for tickets to see the band at a concert in Prague and the only thing on her mind is getting the girls back together.
Having made contact the girls (now 41yrs old) meet at the airport and fly out togther on another adventure. Their experiences and revelations in Prague serve to cement their friendship and to change their lives again.
The soundtrack of the girls lives are the songs of Take That, they punctuate the story in a way that gives it depth and meaning.
Five to Five, the boy band chosen through the talent show ‘Let it Shine’ gave an inspiring performance by almost being in the background. There is no doubt of their musical talent and the vocals were seamless and outstanding.
All credit goes to the Creative Team, too numerous to mention individually, who staged and produced this remarkable new musical, one that I am sure will endure for many years to come.
The stage craft of every cast member drew us ever closer to the action. We laughed, we cheered, we shouted, we sang, and some of us even cried.
At the end of the performance the entire auditorium was on their feet, waving lit mobile phones and generally going wild. I can honestly say that this was an experience like no other and despite myself, like everyone around me I just wanted more.
THE BAND plays at Wales Millennium Centre;
Tuesday 9 until Saturday 20 January
For further details about the show visit www.wmc.org.uk or to book tickets call the Box Office on 02920636464