Review: Motown The Musical (London)
Motown The Musical – it’s a show that I’ve been wanting to see since 2013! I tried to go and see it when I was in New York but unfortunately, it had already sold out. Every December for my mother’s birthday (and an early Christmas treat) we try and go to London to see a West End Show. We’ve seen a few over the years from ‘Priscilla Queen Of The Dessert’ to ‘Memphis’. When we saw that ‘Motown’ was in London we knew we had to go and see it.London is busy at the best of times but it was absolutely rammed over the weekend. I didn’t want to catch the Tube so we caught a taxi in instead. A lot more expensive than Uber, but I prefer giving the business to London cabbies to be fair. The traffic was insane, but we left in plenty of time thankfully! We recognised the theatre as we had already been to the same one in 2014 to see ‘Memphis’.
What is it about?
Other than knowing it was going to be a musical with Motown music in it, I had no idea what the story was going to be about. I hadn’t looked it up prior to going but knew I would like it as I grew up with Motown music. This is pretty much how I become a fan of Michael Jackson from his early stuff with the Jackson 5.
I’ll give you a very brief summary on what it’s about. Basically, there was a man by the name of Berry Gordy who created Motown Records. The musical is a story based on his 1994 autobiography ‘To Be Loved – the Magic, the Memories of Motown’ which you can buy here. The story is a personal journey on how Berry Gordy launched the record label and his personal relationships with the likes of Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Jackson 5.
Motown was founded in 1959, a time where the Vietnam War was looming and was a huge turning point in America due to the civil rights movement. Despite everything, Berry followed his dreams and made them come true. Showing how different things were back during the time of Martin Luther King Jnr in terms of segregation were portrayed very well (even if it meant that I nearly had a heart attack when a gun shot went off).
Was it any good?
Before the show started (and there were posters around), they asked for people to refrain from getting up and dancing which is fair enough. We’ve paid to watch and listen to the actors performing, not the stupid randomers in the crowd who end up being a nuisance. Thankfully, people did listen but were being equally as annoying by getting up and going to the toilet every ten minutes during the first half of the show.
Anyway, enough about the people who were there – the show was absolutely amazing. The singing, the dancing, the story – I cannot recommend it enough. The costume department need a huge round of applause too, and the orchestra – just wow! With over 40 classics such as ‘My Girl’, ‘What’s Going On’, ‘Dancing in the Street’ and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, you’ll definitely be having a dance in your seat. I know it must have been difficult for them to choose which songs to include and which ones to leave out as there as so many classics. I would have liked to have seen more of the Jackson 5 though as they only sang snippets of 2-3 songs.
Although I have been a fan of Motown music from a very young age, I learned a lot from this show. I had no idea how it had started, or in fact, that Berry had a relationship with Diana Ross! I do like films and shows that are based on real life events as to me, they make things far more interesting.
The following day, I took to Twitter to share how much I enjoyed it, and the actor who played the part of Smokey Robinson liked my tweet. I was pretty chuffed about that as he was one of my favourite parts in the show.
@ObiomaUgoala you were brilliant by the way 🎶👌
— Eleanor 🌟 (@eleanor_c88) December 13, 2016
So if you, your friends, parents or anyone you know like Motown YOU NEED TO GO AND SEE THIS! Here’s a trailer of the show to give you an idea of what to expect. If you love Motown then you will love this show. You can buy your tickets here.
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