Music and dance from the Swinging Sixties at Rip it up! At The Garrick

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Posted by May B on Sunday 10th of March 2019




This musical extravaganza is a powerhouse of singing and dancing in celebration of the music and fashions of the 1960s. It features an impressive line-up including: Aston Merrygold (JLS), Harry Judd (McFly), Jay McGuiness (The Wanted) and Louis Smith MBE (Olympic gymnast – and he gets to show off his pommel skills during the show).

The show is non-stop singing and dancing. There’s a live band on stage with an excellent singer whose rendition of “Stand by me” was haunting. And there are strong lead vocals from both male and female singers – who join in with the dancing.

The show is organised into a series of segments such as British Bubble Gum Pop, West Coast Beach, Woodstock, Mods and Rockers, Burt Bacharach, Psychedelic and Motown. There are also videotape interviews with 60s icons such as Lulu, Tony Blackburn, Roger Daltry, Zandra Rhodes and Dionne Warwick.

Every genre and popstar from the 1960s is featured including: The Beatles, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Elvis, Dusty Springfield, Tina Turner, The Beach Boys, The Four Tops, Otis Redding, The Supremes and The Mammas and Pappas to name a few.

The ever-changing and often neon staging, videotape backdrop, choreography and costumes are fabulous. It was great to be reminded of mini-dresses, white boots, fringed waistcoats, tie dye, chain belts, cat suits, floaty kaftans and hot pants. There are scenes with surf boards and beach balls and plenty of dance lifts and acrobatics.

As all four of the front men appeared in Strictly Come Dancing, there are plenty of routines using modern and ballroom styles. They even updated the Charleston. There are sequins galore. The medleys and musical arrangements are impressive – I particularly enjoyed the ramped-up version of Andy Williams’ “Can’t take my eyes off of you”.

There’s a Magic Mike moment when the lads strip off their shirts. But this is balanced by the skimpy costumes on the highly athletic bodies of the female dancers.

The whole thing is positive and energetic. I can hardly believe that they maintained such rigorous dance routines for so long – that takes real stamina. And the audience joined in with singing, clapping and dancing. It was a fun and uplifting show.

It runs until the 2nd June.

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