With all the doom and gloom that comes with this winter season, indulge in the glitz and glamour of showbiz through the 60’s and 70’s at the London Savoy theatre with Dreamgirls.
The first experience of watching Dreamgirls was the movie in 2006 starring Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé and Jamie Foxx and I loved it, but nothing compares to watching it live.
The performance was electrifying serving sass and fantasy and everyone in the theatres was feeling it with catchy songs like, ‘Move’, ‘Cadillac Car’ and ‘Dreamgirls’.
The stand out performers was Moya Angela who played Effie, with a powerful raspy voice she took the daunting task bring Effie White to life. Effie is a hard character to play as she can be unsympathetic at times especially during at the beginning, as she can come across entitled and difficult to work with. Through betrayal, heartbreak and defeat the characters grow exponentially, learning how the forgive and keep her ego in check.
Another stand out was Jimmy, a charismatic soul singer, played by Tosh Wanogho-Maud he captured the essence of Jimmy’s charm and free-spirt, which is exciting to watch when he burst into the stage.
Everyone gave an explosive performance and did not disappoint delivering on the promise of glitter, glamour and sass. The only criticism I would give was Denna had a softer voice that did was overshadowed during the ‘Listen’ number which was supposed to be Denna’s song.
All the characters develops throughout the show, Effie grows resilience through betrayal, Denna and Lorelle, the third member of the Dreamettes shows strength though leaving an abusive relationship, Jimmy learns to be true to himself and Curtis, the con artist and manager of the Dreamettes, sees the error of his shady ways. This compilates into a satisfying ending with the finale rendition of ‘Dreamgirls’ with all four of the Dreamettes.
The costumes transformation throughout the show reflects the Dreamettes journey, from rags to riches, as the dresses got more extravagant it takes the audience back to the showbiz era of the 70’s. The stage was simple yet smart with the placement of the set that transport the audience from watching the performance to the backstage drama seamlessly whch also added a meta layer to the show.
Watching three rows back at the Savoy Theatre I still felt it was great seats as the theatre was small which created and intimate feel, this works well especially with the big numbers; ‘You’re going to love me’ and ‘One night only’. The ushers were attentive with the no tolerant mobile rule and audience members that were disruptive, even removing people if they were continuously troublesome, this allow for a better viewing experience.
Now with this glowing review over, grab a glass of wine, put your dancing shoes on and enjoy the show.
Suggestions to LVL up? Sometimes the vocals can be a little shout-y at times as the Savoy Theatre is small so possible lower the volume at these times.
Overall: 8/10 – Dreamgirls was an enjoyable experience that had iconic songs that will for sure be stuck in your head for days after.