BY HANNAH LEDDEN
The lights go down, the curtain goes up and a dream 11 years in years in the making is about to come true. Dreamgirls has finally hit London’s west end ‘and I am telling you’ it’s one to watch.
The Savoy theatre has been transformed into 1960s America, to bring the Oscar award-winning film and Tony award-winning Broadway show to London. It’s hard to find many people who haven’t heard of the musical phenomenon or at least sung along to the soundtrack – and it’s even more difficult to find anyone who doesn’t walk out of the theatre a die-hard fan.
Amber Riley, of Glee fame, brings the same level of stardom to the stage as Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson did to the 2006 blockbuster film. The shivers down the spines of every audience member throughout Turner’s performance is undeniable and it was hard to find a dry eye in the house.
Sonia Friedman, owner of the production company behind the West End version, showed her happiness at Riley joining the cast at a press event before the premier of the show: “ I was left with goosebumps, tingles and tears when I heard Amber first sing two of the iconic songs. London is very lucky to be the first to see her Effie.”
Deena, Effie and Lorrell take the audience on a glittering journey of friendship, achievement and betrayal in the coming of age story of Deena Jones and the Dreams. A story that many can relate to – even if they’re not superstar recording artists.
Chloe Wilson, 20, from Colchester waited years to see the hottest ticket in town. “I grew up loving the film and I was surprised with tickets to the show today,” she says. “It was just as good as the movie, maybe even better because it was live and right in front of us. I’ve only just left and I’m thinking about the next time I can come to see the show again”.
All the things that made the film, and original Broadway show, a musical masterpiece are brought to life 6 nights a week. Costumes with sequins and boas, every smash hit with an audience left singing along and characters everyone loves, and hates.
Maria Scofield, 49, was also in the audience this week. “I hadn’t particularly heard about the original show or the film before but I love going to the theatre and I was told this was one to watch. As far as west-end shows goes, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.”
Whether you’re a life-long fanatic, or newbie to the vocal talents of the Dreams, a night at this show will leave you mesmerised and pleading for an encore.
Dreamgirls the West End production is at the Savoy Theatre until November 2017.
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