Review: A Chorus Line
GT visits a triumphant premier at the London Palladium.
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Last night we got all dolled up for the premiere of A Chorus Line at the London Palladium. For those who might be unfamiliar with the show, A Chorus Line is a musical that first opened in New York in 1975 and ran for a total of 6137 performances (which makes it the sixth longest-running Broadway show ever - thank you, Wikipedia) and a production of this musical hasn't been seen in the West End for almost 35 years. The show takes place on a bare Broadway stage in mid-seventies New York. Telling the story of dancers auditioning to be part of the chorus in a Broadway production and the process behind it all, they try to impress director Zach, played by John Partridge, while he attempts to mentally strip the dancers back to hopefully understand the nature and driving force behind the characters. Throughout the course of the show, we share their stories and see vulnerability through fabulous song and dance. *MUSICAL KLAXON*
What transpires, both on stage and with the reaction from the audience, is just magical. The talent on stage is overwhelming and with the incredible choreography and exhilarating score, there are some genuinely evocative moments that we had our little hairs standing on end. It's amazing to think that so many years on from original conception, this still packs a theatrical punch that can leave an audience so invigorated. By the time you've arrived at the finale… well, we were totally swept away.
It's so gay they should probably erect a pop-up darkroom outside the Palladium. Joking aside, this is an incredibly important piece of theatre and its legacy is reason alone to buy a ticket. If you're a fan of a fabulous musical, and there's slight chance that you're probably one of the people we're addressing right now, you won't be disappointed. We must give a special mention to Leigh Zimmerman, the actress playing Sheila – a character towards the older end of the dancing spectrum – who delivers fierce fabulousness. Lady, we doff our hot pants to you.
Maybe it's the combination of the history of both the show and the venue, the incredibly talented cast and choreography, the costumes (we love a leotard) and songs, or maybe it's all of the above, but if you're in the market for a night at the theatre that is an unashamedly enjoyable and entertaining experience, you HAVE to see A Chorus Line. Do. You’ve been told.
For tickets and timings visit achoruslinelondon.com
Words: Harry Clayton-Wright