★★★ A Chorus Line
And step 2, 3, turn 2, 3, flick, point, turn 2, 3, double ball change, hats, down. Welcome to the world of dance and brutal auditioning processes. A Chorus Line returns to the West End and is ready to high kick its way to success.
A Chorus Line is set on the empty stage of a Broadway theatre in 1975 and follows the personal stories of 17 dancers all auditioning for the few spaces in a Broadway show. This is no glitzy Britain’s Got Talent audition process, instead a rather raw and at times painful insight into the real world of desperation many dancers face every day trying to get work.
The script feels a little dated in parts and a few of the individual lines shouted during montage songs could have been clearer having been lost in the music. However, the dancing from all cast members was delicious to watch and can only get sharper as the run goes on.
A couple of stand out performances were from Leigh Zimmerman who plays the inimitable Sheila battling age with bountiful cleavage and Scarlet Strallen as Cassie the ex-lover of Zach who’s trying to re-ignite her fading former successes as a dancer. Zach the director holding the audition, played by John Partridge, held his authority well over the line of hopefuls as his booming voice echoed over the sound system whilst he sat in the auditorium.
The two hour non-stop show seemed to take its toll on a few who up’d and walked out however for those of us who stayed the distance we were treated to the simple, crisp finale of ‘One’. I actually shed a tear it was so beautiful and by far the biggest saving point of the show, though it did feel a long slog for the reward.
For lovers of A Chorus Line, the production will not disappoint as the performances can only get tighter and slicker from here on in. Book your tickets for the London Palladium on 0844 412 2957.