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Essex steals the show in Boogie Nights 2

Review by David Munro

I FIND Boogie Nights 2 a show that is hard to review. It has a story of sorts, it is a sequel to an equally inconsequential show – Boogie Nights - and, like its predecessor, it is simply a song and dance show which you either like or not.

I must admit to liking both this show and its progenitor. They are amiable, well-produced evenings of froth; there’s nothing to dislike about them and, as such, they are hugely entertaining.

Boogie Nights 2 has the advantage in that it has David Essex as its star.

For purposes of plot, he plays the role of St Peter but that does not stop him from giving forth some very un-secular songs which he does with aplomb.

Mr Essex is a performer I have enjoyed in several otherwise unmemorable musicals - Mutiny – to name but a few.

He always comes over with a pleasant persona which makes one forgive the setting in which he displays it.

In this production, he is surrounded by a cast of good singers and dancers so there is nothing to forgive; nonetheless, he still dominates the scenes in which he appears and makes you wish that he was given the chance to play a really worthwhile part in a serious musical, as he did in Evita.

The show is set in the Eighties, although it does not resemble the era that I remember, and Mr Essex is very much a product of that decade and the previous one. He wears his age lightly and the boyish vigour which enhanced films like That’ll Be The Day and its sequel, Stardust, is still evident today.

The rest of the cast sing and dance energetically.

Sophie Lawrence makes a charming heroine and sings pleasantly without the nasal whine which seems so prevalent nowadays.

I was not sure which of the two male leads were meant to be the hero, as I found the moments of plot which held up the singing and dancing somewhat hard to follow.

Be that as it may, I enjoyed the performances of Scott Robinson and Mark Jones and I will leave it to wiser heads to sort out which was the winner in the plot handicap.

All in all, this was a very enjoyable evening if totally incomprehensible and inconsequential plot wise.

Forget what it was meant to be about and just go and enjoy the singing and dancing and above all David Essex - you will have a good night out, even if you come out none the wiser as to why St Peter turns out to be an aging rock star!

Boogie Nights 2 written and directed by Jon Conway
Staged and Choreographed by Alan Harding.
CAST: David Essex; Mark Jones; Scott Robinson; Sophie Lawrence; Emily Mascarenhas; Ally Holmes; Sarah Kitson; Joe Speare; Sebastian Sykes; Natasha Khamanji; Jacqui Lemmens; Jordan Conway; Don Crann; Andrew Rees; Luke Johnson; Barry Hester; Ildi Baloc; Laci Dinka.
New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway , Wimbledon, London, SW19 1QG
Mon, Feb 14 – Sat, Feb 19, 2005
Evenings – 7.30pm / Matinees – Thurs & Sat 2.30pm.
Box Office – 0870 060 6646


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