Whenever I see a show dedicated to the music of one particular artist, it always intrigues me as to how they’re going to tell a story through the music and make it a success (lets picture a Viva Forever shaped tumbleweed rolling across the screen here).
Tonights The Night (written by Ben Elton) is the all singing, all dancing Rod Stewart inspired Musical. It’s the usual guy gets the girl, guy loses the girl, love conquers all and the guy gets the girl back storyline but its all played out to over 20 of the iconic gravelly tunes of Rod Stewart. Showcasing songs such as the uptempo Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, to the lyrically moving I Don’t Wanna Talk About it (by moving I mean that my hand was actually moved to dab my eyes – don’t judge me, I’m a sentimental mess) and the anthem Sailing,which came complete with free sailors hat for added effect, nice touch.
Stuart (Ben Heathcote) is your unassuming kind of guy, quiet, shy, sensitive and compared to his colleagues he thinks he’s lacking what it takes to win the heart of the girl he’s been not so secretly pining after for months, Mary (Jenna Lee-James).
What does one do when they think they don’t stand a chance with the objection of their affection? You can either go all “Sandy from Grease” about it and sew yourself into some leather pants and back comb your hair OR you can make a deal with a sequin wearing devil (Tiffany Graves) and offer up your soul in exchange for one of a bed rocking, music making and hip shaking legend – and in Stuart’s case its the soul of Rod Stewart. (If I could trade my soul in for that of a Beyonce/Christina Hendricks/Taylor Swift hybrid that would be great, THANKS.)
With Rod Stewart’s charisma and sex appeal on his side, Stuart wins the heart of Mary…and the undercarriage of every woman he meets on the greasy spoon lined road to rock and roll fame. With a different woman (or 2, or 3..at a time) in every city, Mary realises that Stuart just isn’t the man she fell in love with which leaveshim with an ultimatum. Whats more important to him? The girl he loves or fame, fortune and fu…n daliances with nameless women in cheap hotels?
With comic relief provided by Stoner (Michael McKell), an eclectic rocker who has sacrificed both his liver and brain cells in favour of the rock lifestyle and flawless solo numbers from Dee Dee (Sugababe’s, Jade Ewen), Tonights the Night showcases a talented and enthusiastic cast who pay tribute to 69 year old Rod’s back catalogue. And dance their socks off in the process.
Whether you’re a tartan scarf donning Rod Stewart fan or you just can’t keep your feet from tapping to Maggie May, Tonights the Night offers an entertaining (and sometimes rather cheeky) evening at the theatre.
Tonights The Night will be at the Regent Theatre in Stoke until 29th March – tickets are available online or on the box office.