The Blues Brothers at The Regent theatre, Hanley: Everybody loves a toe-tapping show
The Blues Brothers The Regent theatre, Hanley
MOST people will be familiar with the 1980 film about The Blues Brothers, starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.
The stage show, on the other hand, is not as widely known – and it's not what you might expect.
Most shows intersperse story with music, but this is just song as we follow Jake and Elwood Blues (Brad Henshaw and Chris Chandler) on a journey through classic soul and blues hits.
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They are also joined by three 'Bluettes' and a live band.
The show originally began life in 1991 in Brighton before playing the West End and winning a BAFTA for Best New Musical and then going out on tour.
There have been several reincarnations, some with a story and others without. This one is the latter. Not having a story however does mean that you can party as much as you want.
The six members of the Blues Brothers Band were present on stage throughout and occasionally attempted choreography themselves as they were truly part of the show.
The quality of playing was superb and not one wrong note was heard as the show whisked through hits including Respect, Shake A Tail Feather, Flip Flop Fly, Under The Boardwalk and the signature hit Everybody.
The set is quite extravagant considering this show is essentially a concert but the different levels it provides create interest and the lighting is spectacular, if not a bit excessive at times.
The story of the Blues Brothers film revolved around Elwood being put into an orphanage where he meets Jake and they go on to form a band. Unfortunately they also go on to a life of crime and the police try to stop them staging a concert to save the orphanage because they were wanted criminals.
There are hints to the film in the show as the pair try to evade capture from a police officer on several occasions and Jailhouse Rock sees them break free from the shackles.
If you have not seen the film before this show, however, these references would be lost on you.
Overall this is a good show. It has lots of excellent music performed live on stage and the audience are actively encouraged to get up and dance throughout. It is like one massive party.
It was a shame the party atmosphere was lost by the lack of people in the audience. In the words of the show's most famous song 'Everybody needs somebody' to go and see this show with.