REVIEW | It Only Takes a Minute to Fall in Love with The Band

It’s 1993, Take That are at the peak of their glory days, winning the hearts of young girls with their chart-topping pop hits and eye-catching dance routines.

LtoR AJ Bentley, Curtis T Johns, Sario Solomon, Nick Carsberg and Yazdan Qafouri in The Band, credit Matt Crockett
AJ Bentley, Curtis T Johns, Sario Solomon, Nick Carsberg and Yazdan Qafouri in The Band, credit Matt Crockett

Back in their hometown of Manchester, five of the band’s biggest fans are, of course, infatuated with their idols, convinced that one day they’ll be walking down the aisle to find Gary Barlow at the altar.

Desperate to see the boys live in concert, they find that their dreams one day come true, and it leads on to a night they remember not necessarily for all the right reasons.

When The Band was first announced there was concern among fans that it would display itself as a bit of a tribute show, could it be magic after all? But, it turns out that couldn’t be further from the truth, for it only takes a minute to fall in love – sorry – with this heartwarming, brilliantly funny show that encases a truly beautiful story of love, loss and friendship.

The show enjoyed a superb run in London’s West End, where it was quick to receive high praise from fans. And since then, it’s been touring its way across the country, reigniting teenage memories for those who grew up with their walls plastered with posters.

Of course, the soundtrack is a jukebox collection of Take That’s impressive catalogue of hits, all of which are performed by the leading gents: AJ Bentley, Harry Brown, Curtis T Johns, Yazdan Qafouri and Sario Solomon, who won the heart’s of the nation when they competed for their roles in the BBC talent show, Let It Shine.

Rachel Lumberg as Rachel with Five To Five as The Band in The Band, credit Matt Crockett
Rachel Lumberg as Rachel with Five To Five as The Band in The Band. Credit Matt Crockett

And despite having only entered the talent shows as singers, it’s clear they were each born to perform on the stage. They had absolutely no trouble in delivering the slick vocals and pulling off some of Take That’s most iconic dance moves – including THAT routine we all know and love from ‘Pray’.

As for the leading ladies in the show, the younger cast dominates the show as the 16-year-olds hooked on every move Take That make. And this translates through to the older cast, who create the most beautiful chemistry that has you laughing out loud one minute, to finding yourself hold back the tears only seconds later.

I do need to highlight the simply outstanding performance that Alison Fitzjohn gave as Claire. Packed with emotion, her performance well and truly pulled on my heartstrings.

The cast of The Band, credit Matt Crockett
Credit Matt Crockett

I simply cannot sing my praises enough for The Band, in fact, I think I’ve pretty much said it all – sorry, again. From the witty humour to the truly heartbreaking subjects, The Band is a show that you need to see – Take That fan or not.

An absolute rollercoaster of emotions and a truly wonderful, uplifting show that celebrates the very best of Take That and their incredible fan base, you’d be a fool to miss it.

The Band runs at Wolverhampton Grand until Saturday, March 2. You can book your tickets by clicking here.

*Disclaimer // I was invited to watch The Band by Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. I did not pay for my tickets but was asked to write a review in exchange. All views are my own.

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