An Officer and a Gentleman is an iconic film from the early 80s although is not one I have personally ever seen so as usual I went into this musical with very few expectations, this was all the more so due to the lukewarm reviews for the show that I had read prior to seeing it for the first time. It follows new recruits at the naval base all trying to get their wings whilst simultaneously falling for the charms of the local women who are trying to find a husband who may break them out of their working class lifestyle. This is all set to a jukebox of 80s hits.
Most of the songs are great hits and are all delivered well however whilst some fit the storyline smoothly, others feel out of place and do not add to the narrative. That being said they are all absolute bangers. The movement choreographed to complement the songs was for the most part very simplistic although the military scenes involving the exercise yard and before the graduation ceremony were more interesting.
The standard of the casts performances were solid throughout although Ian McIntosh stands out in the role of Sid Worley as does Emma Williams as Paula Pokrifki. They both take the audience on a journey of emotions and both have powerful singing voices. Jonny Fines in the lead also has a great voice and was an audience favourite particularly in the famous climax to the piece.
The set is clever but drab to reflect the working class background. Its movements are slick to take you from place to place seamlessly and there is mostly effective use of video and visual effects move the story along and to show the back stories to various characters. The direction is generally good with the exception of a rather poor fight scene towards the end which was more cringe than anything else.
The production comes with an age guidance of 14+ which I would agree with. Overall the show is pure cheese with some added grit to bring it back down to earth but more than anything else it is an enjoyable night out that will be nostalgic for many people whether for the songs or for the storyline. For further tour dates and tickets click here.
Are you a fan of the original film? Do you enjoy musical adaptations of films?