Theatre review: Jackie the Musical @ Alhambra Theatre, Bradford – ‘a big must-see production’

By March 31, 2016


Photo: Pamela Raith

Photo: Pamela Raith

Jackie the Musical  inspired by the defining teenage magazine of the 70s had a well received response from the Bradford audience. Under the dynamic direction of Anna Linstrum, we are taken back to what life was like before the ‘Date-Match’ agency and the mobile phones were around to support any dating challenges.

Extremely slick scene changes with pace and tempo incredibly upbeat, this show was highly energetic throughout. The choreography was superbly managed by Arlenne Philips at times every piece of stage was covered with energetic funky dance moves, unexpected acrobatics and gymnastic tumbles.

Photo: Pamela Raith

Photo: Pamela Raith

Janet Dibley as Jackie the fiftysomething divorcee, superbly plays the frustrations and injustice of life, after being left on the shelf. Struggling with the modern dating scene, she turns to dialogue with her 15-year old self, effortlessly played by Daisy Steere and the back catalogue of ‘Jackie the Magazine’ for advice. Michael Hamway as David, Jackie’s son is also turning back the pages for inspiration, he plays with conviction this’20th Century Boy’.

This was inside knowledge about the latest trends, boy bands and how to apply makeup. Not forgetting the agony aunts Cathy and Claire, who replied to hundreds of letters; anything from crushes, boyfriends, fashion advice and flirting.

With authentic 70s staging presented as the opening pages of the magazine, we are cleverly cascaded into the era.  The extremely polished ensemble jigged and jived to the some of the great classics of the 70s from ‘Crazy Horses’ to ‘Dancing on a Saturday Night’ in a playful way.

The integrated funky musicians gave a shadowed backdrop and the slick lighting changes added to the drama and colour onstage.  All in all this was a really well produced uplifting show with an excellent cast:  a big must see production.

Reviewed by Janis Sims on 29th March 2016, Alhambra Theatre, Bradford and touring see