Posts Tagged ‘Chris Bailey’

This story is made for musical adaptation, though it’s taken 35 years to do it. Perhaps it needed 21st Century stage technology to pull it off, which it does in style. There are weak links, though, in the initial pacing and the bland pop score, but the spectacle, the staging and the performances make it, and I’m glad I went.

In case you don’t know the story, it’s 1985 and young Marty lives with his unassertive dad, who is bullied at work, depressed alcoholic mom, and his older siblings who are failures. Oh, and his rock band is going nowhere. He visits his unlikely friend Doc Brown, an inventor who claims to have turned a DeLorean car into a time travelling machine, but has to escape quickly when the Libyan terrorists from whom Doc has stolen the plutonium to power his vehicle come after him. Marty’s escape is in the DeLorean, back to 1955, when Doc first developed the idea, before Marty was born. Here he meets his dad, being bullied by the same man as a schoolboy, and his mom, who becomes infatuated with him. His objective becomes to return powered by something other than plutonium and without changing history.

It takes too long to take off, but when it does it’s great fun. The second half is superbly paced with brilliant effects making the end sequence sensational. John Rando’s staging and Chris Bailey’s choreography are very slick and the design by Tim Hatley is outstanding. Both leads – Olly Dobson as Marty and Roger Burt as Doc – have great charm and a tongue-in-cheek delivery, which is key to the sense of fun. The supporting cast includes a terrific turn from Hugh Coles as Marty’s dad, particularly strong in 1955, and Aidan Cutler as Biff makes a great baddie.

Go for the spectacle and the fun and you’re unlikely to be disappointed.

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