Rip It Up – The 60’s at The Garrick Theatre
Rip It Up the 60’s is the latest of the ‘Rip It Up’ shows to hit the West End. Starring Harry Judd, Louis Smith, Jay McGuiness and Aston Merrygold the audience are treated to a whole host of songs and dance routines from the 60’s.
The format of the show was slightly tired. The first segment was set inside a TV Studio (think Corny Collin’s Show) so there was a camera there capturing the moves up close and transmitted on a large back screen. However when we moved away from the TV show into segments such as ‘Bubble Gum Britain’ and ‘Surfin USA’ we lost the reason for the camera and the video screen to be present. The segments were also linked by presenter Calvin Cornwall. A combination of the script Cornwall was delivering and Cornwall’s delivery of it made these segments incredibly cheesy. Topped off with VT’s that went overboard on the cheese factor these links just served to cheapen the show.
The 60’s focus was great and in general how they managed to encapsulate all of the different styles by having different segments worked well however the ‘Strictly Romantic’ segment was a bit of a push an more of an excuse to show off the skills they learnt on Strictly.
There is no denying that that the 4 strictly alumni gents fronting Rip It Up and the host of dancers alongside them are remarkably talented. From Aston’s incredible vocals, to Harry’s drum playing, Louis’ pommel exhibition and Jay’s ballroom expertise. They were all a lot of fun to watch, switching between their various skills easily. Strictly had clearly taught them all a lot about dance as they coped with all the different styles with apparent ease and they carried the show with charisma.
The dancers that they shared the stage with were equally as impressive. I was unable to take my eyes of Charlie Bruce (known for the winner of series 1 of ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’). Her lyrical contemporary numbers with some of the boys were the highlight of my evening. Faye Huddleston also partnered the leads frequently for their Ballroom numbers and did so elegantly with beautiful lines. Tanya Foy also stood out with a beautifully unique look and a huge sense of fun in her performance.
The show features songs by The Who, Tina Turner, The Beach Boys, The Beatles and more. Fronting most of these songs was Jill Marie Cooper. Whilst the huge variety of songs performed mean that it is hard for any vocalist to be able to rise to all of the demands of the songs I felt that Jill Marie Cooper did not only not have the vocal ability but needed more warmth on stage in order to get a better rapport with the audience. It would have also been good to hear the likes of Aston sing more as all of his vocal performances were spot on.
Rip It Up – The 60’s is worth seeing for the talent of Judd, Smith, McGuiness and Merrygold plus their phenomenal dance partners and backing dancers but be warned that the format and the links are so cheesy that if watched late at night it may cause nightmares!
Rip It Up – The 60’s is on at the Garrick Theatre until the 2nd June. To find out more information and to book tickets visit their website.