Review: Disney’s Newsies
Disney’s Newsies has had several incarnations now including the one that you can watch on Disney+ starring Jeremy Jordan. However, now there is the London cast tearing it up at Wembley Park Troubadour theatre.
The story follows a group of ‘Newsies’, Newspaper sellers, who are tired of the exploitation by their bosses, try to fight back the oppression and bring about a change. Led by the charismatic Jack Kelly (Michael Ahomka-Lindsay), they rise up against the newspaper mogul Joseph Pulitzer (Cameron Blakely) to get better rights for themselves and other Newsies in New York.
The first thing that strikes you about Disney’s Newsies at the Wembley Park Troubadour theatre, is the space itself as you enter. It’s an absolute stunning stage design from Morgan Large and brilliant use of the space as the cast emanate throughout the theatre down the stairs, in through the aisles and just about everywhere else that is conceivable.
The show itself from the outset is nothing short of spectacular. The energy displayed from the entire cast is electric. The dance numbers are a real highlight of a show filled with an insane amount of highlights. The cast leave it all out there for the audience in attendance and it’s worth every bead of their sweat as Newsies is nothing short of a triumph.
From the silky smooth tones from Ahomka-Lindsay to the delicate but powerful brilliance of Bronté Barbé (as Katherine Plumber), the vocalists are sublime. We get far too little Maya Angela too, but what we do get is terrific. We could sit here and list the cast off one by one, they are all so good. Blakely is nasty enough for you to want to boo him, Ethan Sokontwe is precocious enough for you want to adopt him. Imogen Bailey who in her dance sequences manages to stand out, Jack Bromage (as Tommy Boy) and Samuel Bailey (as Specs) all need singling out for their performances too. Newsies is the complete package.
The dance troupe put on some of the best dance numbers seen on a London stage in a long while, it’s a craft that too many big shows forget these days for the sake of some clever effects. But of the dancers, Ross Dorrington as Splasher stands out from the crowd, with note perfect movement and style. Director and choreographer Matt Cole has done a outstanding job here.
Even the orchestra deserve praise, especially the trumpet player, Owain Harries who gave the audience a brief stanza of the theme from E.T. while warming up, before the second half. To which the audience in attendance gave even that a round of applause, such was the engagement that Newsies brings.
Disney’s Newsies is on a limited run at the Wembley Park Troubadour Theatre so ensure that you get your tickets before it’s too late. It’s not a case of read all about it, but see all about it! Newsies is a top tier theatre experience, that you simply cannot miss!