Theatre Review: The Blues Brothers... Approved - New Wimbledon Theatre ✭✭✭✭✭

The Blues Brothers

New Wimbledon Theatre

Tuesday 19th February 2013: Back in the early 90's, I remember working on a show called 'The Official Tribute to The Blues Brothers', which toured extensively and had stints in the West End. Back then, the show had fantastic singers, an extremely tight band, it was full of energy, had a fantastic sound and lighting rig and was one of the best tribute shows around. Now nearly 20 years on, the show may have a different name, but it hasn't lost any of the excitement it had back then... so what makes it tick along? Well, I'll tell you... a mixture of fantastic vocal talent, and an array of music you cant help but sing and dance along to.

Brad Henshaw is taking on the role of Jake, and what a powerhouse of fine vocals this guy has. From the early songs of 'Hey Bartender' and dressing up as a bumblebee for 'King Bee', Brad really showed us his range in a fine rendition of 'With A Little Help From My Friends'. Chris Chandler's harmonica playing Elwood is a fine pairing indeed, with his love of Country music in 'Rawhide' and 'Stand By Your Man', and again showing great high end in the classic 'Under The Boardwalk'.

But it's not just about Jake and Elwood Blues. If I could take my hat off, then it would go to Alexus Ruth, Janessa Qua and Jenny Fitzpatrick who are the collective backing singers The Bluettes. They were sounding magnificent together, lush harmonies and a lot of powerful solo moments for songs such as 'Respect' and 'Think'.

Understudy William Hazell also comes on for a couple of numbers, in particular Cab Calloway's 'Minnie The Moocher', one of many songs where the audience participate and sing along.

With a six piece band playing along, Dave Foster on keys, Alan Mian on bass, Rufus Rufell on guitar and Tony Jones on drums, they do sound rather awesome. The two horn players in particular, David Mian and Ricky Mian, would give The Phoenix Horns a run for their money without a doubt.
Top this all off with a superb lighting show, a very nice sounding system, and it is the recipe for a fantastic couple of hours, and the audience seemed to think so too whilst dancing along and standing ovations at the end.

Dance and sing away the winter Blues, and go grab a ticket for what is going to be the hottest show in town.

5 stars ✭✭✭✭✭

Tour dates

19th - Wimbledon - New Wimbledon Theatre
20th - Wimbledon - New Wimbledon Theatre
21st - Wimbledon - New Wimbledon Theatre
22nd - Wimbledon - New Wimbledon Theatre
23rd - Wimbledon - New Wimbledon Theatre
26th - Woking - New Victoria Theatre
27th - Woking - New Victoria Theatre
28th - Stoke on Trent - Regent Theatre

1st - Stoke on Trent - Regent Theatre
2nd - Stoke on Trent - Regent Theatre
5th - Southampton - Mayflower Theatre
6th - Southampton - Mayflower Theatre
7th - Southampton - Mayflower Theatre
8th - Southampton - Mayflower Theatre
9th - Southampton - Mayflower Theatre
11th - Oxford - New Theatre
12th - Oxford - New Theatre
13th - Oxford - New Theatre
14th - York - Grand Opera House
15th - York - Grand Opera House
16th - York - Grand Opera House
18th - Sunderland - Empire Theatre
19th - Sunderland - Empire Theatre
20th - Sunderland - Empire Theatre
21st - Liverpool - Empire Theatre
22nd - Liverpool - Empire Theatre
23rd - Liverpool - Empire Theatre
25th - Glasgow - Kings Theatre
26th - Glasgow - Kings Theatre
27th - Glasgow - Kings Theatre
28th - Norwich - Theatre Royal
29th - Norwich - Theatre Royal
30th - Norwich - Theatre Royal

1st - Birmingham - Alexandra Theatre
2nd - Birmingham - Alexandra Theatre
3rd - Birmingham - Alexandra Theatre
4th - Bradford - St Georges Hall
5th - Bradford - St Georges Hall
6th - Bradford - St Georges Hall
10th - Eastbourne - Congress Theatre
11th - Eastbourne - Congress Theatre
12th - Eastbourne - Congress Theatre
13th - Eastbourne - Congress Theatre
16th - Malvern - Festival Theatre
17th - Malvern - Festival Theatre
18th - Malvern - Festival Theatre
19th - Malvern - Festival Theatre
20th - Malvern - Festival Theatre
22nd - Bromley - Churchill Theatre
23rd - Bromley - Churchill Theatre
24th - Bromley - Churchill Theatre
29th - Coventry - Belgrade Theatre
30th - Coventry - Belgrade Theatre

1st - Coventry - Belgrade Theatre
2nd - Coventry - Belgrade Theatre
3rd - Coventry - Belgrade Theatre
4th - Coventry - Belgrade Theatre
7th - Manchester - Opera House
8th - Manchester - Opera House
9th - Manchester - Opera House
10th - Manchester - Opera House
11th - Manchester - Opera House
13th - Bath - Theatre Royal
14th - Bath - Theatre Royal
15th - Bath - Theatre Royal
16th - Bath - Theatre Royal
17th - Bath - Theatre Royal
18th- Bath - Theatre Royal
21st - Cardiff - New Theatre
22nd - Cardiff - New Theatre
23rd - Cardiff - New Theatre
24th - Cardiff - New Theatre
25th - Cardiff - New Theatre

Previous casts in video below