THE BAND Theatre Royal Haymarket…..

I have never been a big ‘boy band’ fan but I can never resist singing along to the occasional Take That song and as ‘boy bands’ go Take That are probably the best that there is (sorry other boy bands!) So with a bunch of similarly aged friends, all of whom can safely say were around ‘Then” and ‘Now”, we set off to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket with great anticipation. I knew the story was not about how the band had formed but I did not have any other insider knowledge. The story starts back ‘Then’ with the band in their hey day and their fans in their teens. I felt the show was a little bit slow to start and I wasn’t sure how well it was going to pick up. I know this is a touring show and was only doing a twelve week run in the West End, but it did, at the beginning, feel more like a local theatre piece. However the story then took an unexpected turn and from then on really captured the audience. The band themselves, as well as spending some time in concert mode, provided the backing track throughout which worked brilliantly. It was also great to see a young cast (both male and female) perform with such confidence, alongside older actors with one playing a multitude of bit parts transporting you to the different times and locations. But what really made this show a winner was the story, which I can’t reveal because I promised no spoilers, but all my friends agreed that they had to try really hard not to have a good weep! This is not just a celebration of all things Take That but also a message of friendship and loyalty and a realisation that whichever different paths peoples’ lives may travel down, true friendship can survive the test of time.

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