REVIEW: THAT'LL BE THE DAY @ THE OCTAGON THEATRE
🎭 That'll Be The Day
📍 The Octagon Theatre, Hendford, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 1UX
🗓 Thursday 9th March 2023
FAST AND FURIOUS FUN-FILLED ENTERTAINMENT
That'll Be The Day has truly cemented itself as the nations favourite touring one-night production, and even after more than 37 years on the road (29 of which I have been following it!) it shows no sign of slowing down. Last week the show returned to The Octagon Theatre in Yeovil as part of its mammoth Spring tour.
Led from the front by the shows creator/director/producer Trevor Payne, That'll Be The Day takes the audience on a whirlwind through the history of popular music beginning with the birth of rock 'n' roll in the 1950's up until the electric 1980's.
The show is essentially a collection of small production pieces which cleverly weaves the songs into them. Throughout the course of the show we're taken back to the coffee bars of the 60's, enjoy Sunday Night at the London Palladium and see the birth of Radio 1!
Production Image: Trevor Payne kicks off the show with a bit of rock 'n roll
Act 2 opens with the Blues Brothers on the run and we're taken through the 70's and into the 80's with Now That's What I Call 80's!
Trevor Payne acts as compere throughout and introduces the sections as well as performing. He begins the opening medley of rock 'n' roll hits with Rip It Up and he has the audience singing along to Hey Baby. He also gives us his signature pieces - Neil Diamond, Cliff Richard and Mick Jagger. He does a hilarious stand up routine as Jagger which is now an established part of any That'll Be The Day show .
Production Image: Tight harmonies on display
That'll Be The Day was born on the cabaret circuit in the 80's and the dynamic comedy duo of Trevor Payne and Gary Anderson really shine when they return to their comedy roots. The comedy is very in keeping with the era and we're treated to a hilarious version of black and white children's TV favourite Bill and Ben, although I don't believe the flower pot men were ever drunk on the TV show!
There's also Steptoe and Son with a hilarious take on The Sound of Music and Anderson shows off his incredible impersonation skills as Bruce Forsyth and Ken Dodd!
Anderson also has a great singing voice and uses his velvet tongued vocals on songs such as I Don't Know Why I Love You (But I Do), Happy Together and Soul Man. He also gives a show stopping performance of Till as Tom Jones.
Production Image: Gary Anderson as Tom Jones
Nikki Renee Hechavarria is a stalwart of the show and her trademark smile and personality oozes from the stage. She is an incredible performer whose powerhouse vocals are shown off during songs such as River Deep Mountain High, Flashdance (What a Feeling) and I Just Wanna Make Love To You. The softer side of her voice is also on display in this production with a beautiful rendition of To Know Him Is To Love Him and an incredible version of Killing Me Softly which she performs with Jodie Lawson.
Jodie Lawson is a real fan favourite and she makes a welcome return to the show and uses her diverse voice to give fabulous renditions of huge hits such as Shout, Respect, End of the World and I'll Never Fall In Love Again. She also sang Woman In Me and received one of the biggest audience reactions of the night for this beautiful performance.
Production Images: Nikki Renee Hechavarria and Jodie Lawson
Alongside the frontline vocalists, That'll Be The Day surely has the most versatile bands in theatre history! Clive Fishlock is a multi-instrumentalist who not only plays a wide variety of instruments during the show, but also stretches his vocal cords on songs such as Get a Job, Even The Bad Times Are Good and I Get Around. Fishlock is also vocal arranger for the production and is in charge of making sure that the harmonies are sounding great night after night.
Jarrod Loughlin is the bass player but comes forward to sing glorious renditions of Flowers In The Rain and Twisting The Night Away. He also has the audience dancing in their seats as he cuts loose to perform Footloose!
Thom Kirkpatrick is the newest member of the cast and not only plays keyboard and guitar, but steps forward and gives a soulful performance of Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
Production Image: The Summer of Love!
On lead guitar is Ollie Gray who has a huge collection of guitars, each one used to create a unique and authentic sound. He sang a beautiful version of The Everly Brothers track Let It Be Me alongside Loughlin as well as showcasing his vocals and guitar skills during Country Boy. He also led the band in a tribute to The Shadows.
The final cast member is Eduardo Neto on the drums. Neto is actually the drummer on sister show Walk Right Back but had stepped in to cover Mark Street in That'll Be The Day. He is a very expressive performer and looks like he's having the time of his life up on the stage. Alongside Gray he performed an awesome version of Dance With The Devil which had the audience up on their feet in applause.
That'll Be The Day continues with its Spring Tour before taking their annual break and returning in the Autumn. During this time the show will be completely rewritten and reworked so that a brand new production hits the road in August. This annual rewrite is one of the secrets of the shows longevity and what keeps audiences coming back again and again.
You can find all tour dates below but you can head to www.thatllbetheday.com where you can find more information on the show, buy merchandise and book tickets.
All views are my own and I pride myself on being open, honest and free from influence.
Production Images: Gary Anderson; Nikki Renee Hechavarria; Trevor Payne; Clive Fishlock
Trevor Payne: Vocals/Comedy/Impressions
Gary Anderson: Vocals/Comedy/Impressions
Nikki Renee Hechavarria: Vocals
Jodie Lawson: Vocals
Jarrod Loughlin: Bass/Guitar/Vocals
Ollie Gray: Lead Guitar/Vocals
Thom Kirkpatrick: Keys/Guitar/Vocals
Eduardo Neto: Drums/Vocals (Covering for Mark Street)
Clive Fishlock: Keys/Saxophone/Trombone/Accordion/Guitar/Vocals
3 hours 10 minutes (approx) including 20 minute interval
TOUR DATES FOR THE CURRENT SPRING TOUR AND THE UPCOMING AUTUMN TOUR