We love The Who. The legendary band, who recently headlined Glastonbury, where we had the honour of seeing them live, for the first time, blew us away. We always love the idea of rock musicals, they’re a genre that there needs to be a lot more of, we’d love to see more bands doing this! With the opening of American Idiot based on Green Day’s American Idiot album, the London scene is once again becoming rich with diversity. The Who still rock, well in to their seventies, the talent of this legendary band has no limits. Sadly, We Will Rock You is no longer in the West End, but we hope that more and more bands would like to go down this route. Blur (cough cough), we’d love to see you do this!
The Who’s Tommy will play a limited run at Greenwich Theatre and The production marks the 40th Anniversary of the original film and the 50th Anniversary of The Who. Based on the iconic 1969 double-album rock opera, which later became a film of the same title, The Who’s Tommy is an exhilarating musical about hope and the human spirit.
The show sounds complex when you read the blurb, but that is not really what you see on the stage. The story goes like this: after witnessing the accidental murder of his mother’s lover by his father, Tommy is obviously scarred and emotionally traumatised. Growing up, Tommy suffers abuse at the hands of those around him, including his relatives and neighbours. His teenage years leads to a bit of self-discovery, where he learns that he has a skill for playing pinball, a talent that breaks through his catatonia and puts him on the path to greatness. Everyone loves championing for the underdog and we everyone feels like they want to look after him, least that how the audience feels whilst watching.
The cast has a wealth of talent, who have starred in a long list of shows between them all. Witty and engaging, the cast were on good form. We do feel however, that they will get better as their shows go on. They were good, but we would have liked to have seen a little more fire in their performance, as if they just needed that one extra shove to put on a truly glittering performance. They entertained throughout the show however, with some impressive vocal displays and some excellently choreographed dance numbers. They were choreographed by Mark Smith, founder and artistic director of Deaf Men Dancing, an innovative all-male dance company of dancers and choreographers who, like Mark, are deaf and his talent for putting together a structured style showed throughout.
This was a great version of The Who’s Tommy and we would suggest that anyone who likes shows such as We Will Rock You, will enjoy the show. It’s not often that the show appears in London, so try and catch it whilst you can!