Saturday 5 October 2019

Motown the Musical at Mayflower Theatre

With the Autumn theatre season in full swing, it was time to head to Mayflower Theatre for the latest show gracing the stage. Motown the Musical is one I've been looking forward to for yonks. My parents regularly played Motown while I was growing up so I'm really familiar with the music and having seen rave reviews about the show, I really couldn't wait to see it live. 

And the wait was worth it! It was truly sensational and I would watch it again in a heartbeat because it just totally blew me away. The singing was incredible, the way the story was told was completely captivating and it was so hard not to get up in the aisles and have a little boogie. 

Motown the Musical tells the story of Berry Gordy and the rise of Motown Records. The company was started with just $800 borrowed from his family and it launched the careers of many legendary artists we still listen to today including Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and Marvin Gaye. It also features over fifty classic Motown hits such as I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Super Freak and Dancing in the Street.

I've been listening to the soundtrack all week.

As much as Motown is about the music, it also follows the relationships, professional struggles and the way the music shaped a generation making history in a turbulent time for black Americans.

The scene before the interval caught me completely off guard and as the reaction to the assassination of Martin Luther King was played out on stage, it was really hard not to become emotional. As a white woman, I can't even begin to comprehend the feelings and emotion surrounding the assassination and what it meant to black people in America. It was something so important and shown so beautifully.

I didn't know much about how Motown started or the rise of it so I went in with completely fresh eyes and quickly became entranced by the actors on stage.

Edward Baruwa who was playing Berry Gordy was unbelievable, if I could have this guy sing to me for the rest of my life I would. He was likeable, funny and played the part so brilliantly. His entire stage presence was captivating and I found myself following him wherever he was on stage. He totally made the show for me and I would love to see him perform again.

Karis Anderson played Diana Ross and I think I'm a little bit in love. She has the most beautiful voice and she came across so fun on stage. Her smile lit up the room and I'm totally jealous of the amazing costumes she gets to wear. With so many impressive outfits, it would be the dream to have a nose through the costume cupboard.

I loved watching Diana and Berry's relationship develop as they had incredible onstage chemistry, I felt like I was rooting for them the entire way through. Nathan Lewis played Smokey Robinson and WHAT a Smokey Robinson he played, he was brilliant and completely brought the show to life.

Motown the Musical is at Mayflower Theatre 1st - 12th October so you still have time to see the show before it continues with its tour. Tickets are available to be purchased via or you can phone the box office on 02380 711811.

It really is an unmissable show, I would urge everyone to see it if they get a chance.

Complimentary press tickets for the purpose of review - see disclaimer.
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