All or Nothing – The Small Faces Musical

All or Nothing
All or Nothing – The Small Faces Musical

All or Nothing is the latest mod musical touring the country. It is based on the music of the 1960’s band ‘ The Small Faces.’ It iss told through the eyes of their lead singer – Steve Marriott.

All or NothingThe show opens with our narrator, an older Steve Marriott, taking the audience back to where it all began and we meet the fresh faced boys that were soon to become The Small Faces. The show follows the bands rise to fame, their falls outs with their manager(s) and subsequent demise.

Unfortunately the story wasn’t enough to grip me. I appreciate that in musicals such as this there is only so much you can do with the story as it is all based in fact. It was however very predictable: cockney lads meet, they have a hard time making it big, they make it big but dwell over the fact that they aren’t being true to their musical roots, they get ‘done over’ by their manager, they continue to make it big until it all self-combusts!

The idea of an older Steve Marriott narrating was a nice idea but I would have liked to have seen this utilised more and in a more interesting manner. To make it worse the book was uninspired and the ending in fact was melodramatic and cringe worthy in the writing.

Throughout the show you are faced with a whose who of 60’s music stars and presenters. It felt like some of this peripheral could have been done away with and more time spent on either the music or developing the characters of those in the band. This development of those in the band would have helped with a more engaging storyline.

All or Nothing

The show clearly focuses on the music and the fans in the audience appreciated this. You are taken through the Small Faces back catalogue as well as other music from the same era (a bit of Dusty Springfield for example). The cast performed a large amount of the music live and there was no doubt about the musicianship of these performers. 

Samuel Pope took the lead role of the young Steve Marriott backed up by Stanton Wright as Ronnie Lane, Josh Madison as Ian McLagan and Sefan Edwards as Kenny Jones. The guys deliver the songs with gusto and a convincing cockney swagger. It is clear that this is what the fans are crying out for and have the audience on their feet by the end.

The role of the dancers in the show, like the stroyline is disjointed. A trio of dancers appear frequently dressed in a variety of 60’s costumes to perform authentic 60’s choreography but there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when they appear and why. It comes across as an afterthought as if the director thought that as it was a musical they ought to have some dancing.

This show is one that is clearly aimed at hard core fans of the Small Faces. Looking around I had never seen so many mods in one place. These super fans clearly loved every minute of it. If you are a fan of the band or after a nostalgia hit then by all means go. If, like me, you are a theatre fan who often enjoys the guilty pleasure that is jukebox musicals then this is one to avoid.

 

To find out more about All or Nothing and where they are visiting on their tour next you can check out the musicals website.

If you like this review you might also like my review of Let It Be, Jackie and Dirty Dancing. 

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