REVIEW: Again to the Future on the Adelphi Theatre


We reviewed this excellent musical model of the 1985 movie Again to the Future in October 2021 after it lastly opened following an extended Covid delay when its premiere in Manchester was reduce quick in 2020 however a 12 months on after a reasonably in depth solid change it was positively time to revisit the present. IMDB ranked the movie as one of many prime 50 motion pictures of all time and its creators’ writers Bob Gale and Bob Zemeckis determined after the second sequel in 1990 that the story was informed, and the Movie Franchise was concluded. Its enduring recognition to new generations of followers is a testomony to the standard of its writing and performances and due to this fact it was considerably daring to tinker with that legacy by turning the unique movie right into a stage musical. What’s extra, to do it with the unique inventive workforce confirmed not simply loving care to guard the reminiscence but in addition a threat to wreck it by getting it fallacious within the switch to stage. It could have been an extended growth path from the unique concept in 2005 however Again to the Future – The Musical is now firmly established within the West Finish as successful present.
I’m delighted to report that the present, just like the movies, has matured with age and led by the irrepressible Roger Bart as Doc Brown is pretty much as good if not higher than when it first opened. Burt who has been with the present for the reason that begin appears to relish each second he’s on stage and has realized learn how to milk the audiences’ reactions and delights within the ludicrous Busby Berkeley-style musical numbers that burst on stage for no logical purpose besides to easily entertain us. A few of it’s weird just like the opening to Act 2 with a fantasy sequence with the Doc belting out the tune “Twenty first Century” along with a dancing refrain of lab-coated assistants; it might not be the “Time Warp”, nevertheless it appears to pay tribute to different Musical movies and stage reveals as does “Future Boy”, with a refrain in prime hats and tails. However as with a lot of this present, it merely makes you smile with pleasure on the exuberant enjoyable.

By the tip of the 2 hour forty present we had been celebrating the truth that the creators have pulled off a magic trick of honouring the unique in fashion and content material however giving it a contemporary new life that matches the film’s cult standing. Certainly, the tongue-in-cheek comedy acknowledges the transition to stage, celebrates the enduring film moments with neat twists and units out to create a brand new cult stage musical to rival the longevity of the Rocky Horror Present. It received’t be lengthy earlier than audiences are shouting out the responses and features and dressing as much as be Marty or Doc Brown to observe!

The staging by Tim Hatley is fantastic with a revolve, automation, graphical results and the magical DeLorean automotive brilliantly built-in to create iconic scenes corresponding to Doc Brown’s storage laboratory, the tree exterior Lorraine’s home, the Hill Valley Excessive Faculty Enchantment beneath the ocean ball and naturally the sq. exterior the clock tower. Vital particulars like the image of Marty’s household are cleverly projected to elucidate the place we’re on the space-time continuum. After all, the star of the present is the DeLorean automotive (magnificently recreated by Twins FX, the world leaders in stage flying results) which looks like it’s travelling at 88 mph throughout the stage earlier than lastly taking off on the finish of the primary movie to return to the long run with a surprising twist.

Alongside the magical Roger Bart as Doc Brown is Ben Joyce, contemporary from taking part in Frankie Valli alongside the Strand within the Jersey Boys as Marty McFly. Their energetic performances acknowledge the unique stars however add a pleasant figuring out attraction to the stage. They’ve the identical quirky chemistry between them, bouncing off one another and letting us know that it is a stage musical of a cult film at each alternative.

The music and lyrics by Alan Silvestri and Glan Ballard aren’t immediately hummable or memorable however will develop on us with repeated listening. “For the Dreamers” is the strongest new tune, a Doc Brown ballad to the inventors who’ve gone earlier than. The brand new songs are outshone by the classics from the Film “Again in time”, “Earth Angel”, “The Energy of Love” and “Johnny B Goode” within the climatic sequence across the Excessive Faculty Ball though it’s reasonably too apparent that Marty is just not taking part in the guitar!

The supporting solid is great, recreating the look of the unique stars but in addition directed by John Rando to carry the comedy to the forestage. Oliver Nicholas making his stage debut as George McFly is gloriously excessive as he practices his problem to Lorraine’s abuser, “Hey you get your arms off her”! Amber Davies (just lately seen in 9 to five on the Savoy) pulls off the problem of Lorraine because the 1985 motherly self and because the 1955 younger woman nicely and we are able to really feel her confusion as she lovingly seduces her personal son! Jordan Benjamin has nice enjoyable within the elevated position of Goldie Wilson and the guitarist Marvin Berry provides a pleasant fashionable uplift to the present. Sophie Naglik is charming as Marty’s 1985 girlfriend Jennifer and Harry Jobson (one other debutant) will get the unenviable position of recreating the bully Biff. Gary Trainor recreates the trainer, Strickland.

This can be a present loved equally on a second go to with so many little particulars to look out for just like the Tardis spinning throughout the backcloth or references to the celebrated options of 1955 corresponding to fossil gasoline, cigarettes, asbestos, and spam (what a distinction the passage of time makes!). The unique inventive workforce have pulled off a marvellous trick, honouring their nice movie franchise, however reinventing it as a stage present to please Twenty first-century audiences. It’s a excellent feelgood present for the post-pandemic time that places a smile in your face and a spring in your step as you might be totally entertained by a wonderful solid and fantastic staging and are taken “again in time” and proven “the facility of affection”.

Overview by Nick Wayne 

Ranking: ★★★★

Seat: Stalls, Row G | Value of Ticket: £60


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