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Theatre Review: End of the Rainbow - King's Theatre, Glasgow ✭✭✭✭


From early on in her career, Judy Garland has been a household name. She rose to fame in 1939 with the release of The Wizard of Oz and continued to build a successful career in the entertainment industry for years after. On stage she was a confident performer, but with professional success came personal heartbreak. Peter Quilter's 'End of the Rainbow' explores this in great detail.

Lisa Maxwell is excellent in the demanding lead role and truly captures Garland's spirit. Her body language, voice and quirky sense of humour allow the audience to empathise with the character and almost forgive any of Garland's wrongdoing throughout both acts.  Maxwell belts out Garland's well known hits like The Trolly Song with ease, and the show closes with a slowed down version of Over the Rainbow which was a perfect finale.

Maxwell was supported on stage by Gary Wilmot and Sam Attwater who played her piano player Anthony and newest husband, Mickey Deans. Both men had complex relationships with Garland and Wilmot and Attwater really threw every emotion they had into portraying that on stage.

End of the Rainbow is a raw, no-holds-barred look into the breakdown of one of the original Hollywood starlets. It manages to show the vulnerable woman behind the stage persona, clutching desperately to the drugs and alcohol she needed to be 'Judy Garland'. Both comic and tragic in equal measure, this show is not one to be missed.

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