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  • Writer's pictureNeill Kovacic-Clarke

REVIEW: BACK TO THE FUTURE @ THE ADELPHI THEATRE

🎭 Back To The Future

📍 Adelphi Theatre, 410 Strand, London, WC2R 0NS

🗓 Thursday 21st September 2023

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐⭐



THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THIS SHOW


Last week I returned to the electrifying musical Back to the Future for the first time since the recent cast change. The show is playing at London's Adelphi Theatre, which has been its home since it opened in London in 2021 and currently stars Ben Joyce as Marty McFly alongside Cory English as Doc Brown.


I have to say that for me Back to the Future is the absolute best screen to stage adaptation that I have ever seen. It manages to capture the wonder and excitement of the film perfectly and stays very true to the storyline. Of course there are some changes, which are to be expected, but the way this musical has been constructed is phenomenal.


From the moment Marty McFly enters the stage to a huge cheer and excitement, the audience are on side and loving every second. Ben Joyce is nothing short of incredible as the accidental time traveller. His wide-eyed innocence along with his cool factor bring the character to life in an amazing likeness to the original.


In fact, the attention to detail in the characterisations throughout is incredible. I was especially impressed with Oliver Nicholas as George McFly, who has the nerdish and submissive traits down to a T and when he does the iconic laugh with utter precision it warms my heart and is a truly nostalgic moment for me. I grew up watching these films and have a great affinity for them so to see these characters brought to life on the West End stage, without turning them into caricatures, brings great joy to this 80's kid!



I absolutely adored Sarah Goggin as Lorraine Baines. Goggin seamlessly changed from the bored housewife into the doe-eyed teenager and was a joy to watch. She also had a glorious singing voice and led the closing of act 1 triumphantly as she performed Something About That Boy.


Jordan Pearson perfectly captures the over-the-top bully Biff Tannen and his performance of Teach Him a Lesson is wonderfully comic and Sophie Naglik as Jennifer Parker shows off her glorious vocals in Wherever We're Going and you can really feels her love for Marty.


Jay Perry is obviously a very accomplished performer and he shines in this production. As Goldie Wilson he leads an impressively upbeat and high energy Gotta Start Somewhere and as Marvin Berry he you really get to hear his smooth velvet tongued vocals as he performs Deep Divin' and Earth Angel.


The role of Doc Brown is played with sublime perfection by Cory English who really puts his stamp on the character and makes it his own. He is a joy to watch and his performance of 21st Century is flamboyant and full of fun.


The comedy timing throughout is impeccable and a lot of it comes across as if it is ad-libbed which is wonderful to witness. I especially enjoyed the interactions between Joyce and English throughout, Joyce and Nicholas during Put Your Mind To It and also between Joyce and Goggin during Pretty Baby. The direction from John Rando is fantastic and the choreography from Chris Bailey is high-energy and a real spectacle.


The star of the show is undoubtedly the special effects and Illusion Designer Chris Fisher has created something truly amazing. Alongside lighting from Tim Lutkin and sound by Gareth Owen, Back to the Future needs to be seen to be believed. The Delorian is exceptional and creates many of the Wow! moments in the show.



I sat in the front row for this performance, but for a first-timer I would suggest that this is not the best seat as the stage is quite high and you do miss some of the action. In fact I would suggest that this production is best viewed from the Dress Circle on a first viewing. This is because of all the effects and the way they protrude from the stage. I have sat in this location on two previous viewings and would argue that this is the absolute best place to sit to watch this show.


One thing's for sure, this wasn't my first visit to Hill Valley and it definitely will not be my last. It doesn't matter if you've seen the Robert Zemeckis movie or not, this musical is a real treat for the senses and if packed full of the feel-good factor.


Back to the Future continues its successful run at the Adelphi Theatre and is currently booking until February 2024. For the best prices its always best to shop around to find the best deals. If booking on the day then £29.50 rush tickets are available on the TodayTix app. I booked my ticket for this performance direct with LW Theatres.


Neill Kovacic-Clarke


All views are my own and I pride myself on being honest and free from influence.



CAST LIST:

Ben Joyce as Marty McFly; Cory English as Doc Brown; Oliver Nicholas as George McFly; Sarah Goggin as Lorraine Baines; Jay Perry as Goldie Wilson / Marvin Berry; Jordan Pearson as Biff Tannen; Sophie Naglik as Jennifer Parker; Lee Ormsby as Strickland; Rhodri Watkins as Dave McFly; Patricia Wilkins as Linda McFly; Georgia Tapp as Clocktower Woman

Ensemble: Reece Darlington-Delaire; Sia Dauda; Elliot Evans; Matthew Ives; Connor Lewis; Laura Mullowney; Louis Quinn; Grace Swamy-Moore; Alexandra Wright; Tavio Wright

Swings: Ella Beaumont; Alexander Day; Dylan Gordon-Jones; Helen Gulston; Adam Margilewski; Bryan Mottram; Anna Murray


RUNNING TIME (approx):

2 hours 40 minutes, including interval



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