Guest post by Kathryn Coe and Hannah Stirling
Starting on Broadway in 2013, Motown the Musical quickly got a name for itself as one of the best jukebox musicals in history, outlining the story behind Berry Gordy and his legendary Motown Record label – which signed huge acts throughout the 1960s-1980s such as Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson. Now this feel good musical has landed on the West End and two of our SuperBreak team were lucky enough to see the show on the preview night. This is what we loved about the show.
1) The Inspirational Story
Motown the Musical tells the story of Berry Gordy and the creation of the Motown record label, covering 25 years of Motown’s trials, tribulations and achievements. The audience was immersed in each decade, seamlessly achieved through interwoven social, cultural and political scenes knit tightly into the story. One such scene is the depiction of the Vietnam War through a captivating performance of Edwin Starr’s War with scenes from the time depicted on the backdrop. The musical also features all of the big stars that Gordy helped to create including, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Diana Ross and The Supremes, making it a fascinating story for any fans of these Motown icons.
2) The Sing-Along Soundtrack
From the get go, the music pulsates throughout the show and it’s the music you will remember and take home with you! The beat is infectious, the audience never stops and neither does the music, hit after hit is performed through the entire show – in fact there are over 50 Motown records included in the soundtrack, with amazing performances. One of our personal favourites was Jackson 5’s Who’s Loving You, the young actor portraying Michael Jackson hit every single note perfectly, leaving the audience in stunned silence before bursting into applause. Other great songs from the show include Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You Ever Wanna Meet) to I Heard it Through the Grapevine, plus another Jackson 5 classic, ABC. With such a mix of famous songs on offer, there’s something for every age to enjoy – making this a great intergenerational show for treating your parents or the kids.
3) The Stunning Costumes
Set in the 60s and 70s, there was no doubt that the costumes in Motown the Musical were going to be a production in themselves. And they didn’t disappoint – bright, vibrant and perfectly fitted to the times – an admirable feat as the fashion changes considerably from the start of the show to the end, as we move from the 60s to the 70s. The costumes really help transport you back to the era and take you on a journey of how the style changed over the decades. The accuracy to which famous stars are dressed is impressive, with Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye visibly changing their styles as the show progresses.
4) The Electric Atmosphere
One of the most enjoyable parts of this musical was how much the audience enjoyed it. The entire theatre were dancing, singing, and really feeling the music – and it was wonderfully encouraged by the actors; Diana Ross even striked up some conversation with the audience. The fast-paced, upbeat music and moving storyline pulled the audience in, naturally encouraging the audience to sing along and participate from start to finish.
There was so much to love about Motown the Musical and we’re sure it’s set to be a legendary addition to the London musical scene, which will leave you Dancing in the Street long after the curtains have closed.
Why not check out Motown the Musical for yourself with one of our Motown the Musical hotel plus theatre packages.