Fans of classic rock musicals have a lot to get excited about this week, with the West End opening of the legendary show Hair at the Gielgud Theatre in London.
While it’s always a treat to take a West End theatre break, there are some shows that have extra special appeal and really rise to the top. With its rocking songs, lively theatrics and engaging drama, Hair is certainly one of these, and I’m excited that the transfer of the revived show from Broadway to London means I could finally take my mum to see her favourite musical!
Hair (not to be confused with Hairspray!) is famous for being the first rock musical, a combination that we really haven’t had enough of since. There’s been Jesus Christ Superstar of course, and We Will Rock You is certainly a lot of fun, both of which also combine the atmosphere of a rock concert with all the drama of a play. And now you have the perfect chance to see the 1967 spirit recaptured by fantastic performers in the play that started the trend.
But what makes Hair stand out, even more than its famous songs, is its controversial subject matter, which might be a little more acceptable today but sounds like it still has the ability to shock. By dramatising drug use and sex – as well as boasting a famous nude scene – it might not be a show you want to take your gran to… unless she was one of the revolutionary baby boomers herself, of course!
There’s bound to be a big difference between a modern audience watching Hair and those seeing it for the first time in 1967, when the Vietnam War was still going on and many of its issues were touchy subjects, but critics seem to agree that age has only dated the show it in a good way. The music still sounds as fresh as ever, and while the modern version of the show is still faithful to the original, I’ve heard there are many sequences that have been given a stylish makeover. This should be great news for old-school fans as well as anyone who’s keen to see Hair for the first time and get a revealing insight into 1960s counterculture.
Hair is playing at the Gielgud Theatre in Westminster, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that reviews from the opening night were positive – it’s a classic after all! Check out our video preview to help you decide if you fancy letting your hair down on a theatre break in London.