Enter show, artist name or venue

clear

Truly, Madly, Deeply: Your Band Is and Was Everything...

Take That and Tim Firth's newest musical phenomenon, The Band Musical, is not just a celebration of the meaningful and hugely popular music of Take That aiming to give people the best two hours of their lives, the show is a seminal story of friendship and womanhood. Presented tenderly through the lives of five 16-year-old friends in Manchester for whom 'the band' was everything, the music making them inseparable as teens, but then strangely reuniting them as women 25 years later. Meet Rachel, Claire, Heather, and Zoe as they try once more to fulfill their dream of meeting the boy-band whose music became the soundtrack to their lives. An uplifting and joyous piece, with emotional and multiplexing qualities.

The musical follows normal women and their friendship, something so simple, habitual and close to reality that it is rarely ever portrayed, with older women also irrefutably being a group under-represented upon the stage. Therefore, The Band is truly groundbreaking, making it both understandable and joyous to see the narrative following these 40-something women making a real difference and empowering female audience members, particularly judging by the reaction the cast have consistently been receiving throughout the tour. For instance, Katy Clayton, who plays Young Heather states on the subject of meeting fans after performances that...

'They come to stage door and tell us how much that the characters resonate with them.'

This resonating notion making the show totally unmissable, with the abundance of female characters proving to be both diverse exceedingly relatable. Though the show attests relevancy not just to women, but to anyone who has experienced love, friendship, and loss. Rachelle Diedricks who plays Debbie adds...

'When we played Llandudno a woman stopped me in the car park and asked if she could hug me. She said that my story in the show had happened to her and her friends and she really related to it,'

It, as Sarah Kate Howarth, (Young Claire), states 'affects and reunites' people, promoting a sense of nostalgia for their school days and the ties and friendship groups they had there. Rachel Lumberg, who plays Rachel states that she wants...

'...people to go home and ring a friend they haven't spoken to in a long time, and I think they will...'

The Band further aims to push the conventions of musical theatre, it is neither a stereotypical 'jazz hands' piece nor is it a jukebox show, with the word 'unique' being freely used by cast and producers alike, some even calling it more of a true-to-life, play with music. Sarah Kate Howarth further explaining that...

'There are moments when you are saying the lines that you realise that you have been there yourself. It is very honest and he absolutely captures the way that real people communicate.'

Though The Band promises spectacle aplenty, it's technical designers including specialists who have worked on Take That's big arena tours, the production ultimately has an uplifting vibe with genuine through-lines of relevancy, holding up a mirror to real life and striving towards a broad appeal. Yazdan Qafouri of Five To Five, 'the band' in the show, states...

'...It's so real and natural. Every song is integrated into the action, so it is seamless. It always works.'

An insistence that proves true, with the songs absolutely not being simply shoe-horned in and cleverly woven into the story for meaning and to emote the story as well as for plot development. Curtis T Johns, also of Five to Five, interjects...

'While many things in the world right now don't focus on simplicity like friendship, anxieties and human interactions, our show really does. Weight issues, sexuality, anxiety - it's all there - and Tim Firth makes it so relatable. So many people come and tell us that they relate to the characters and the story. It gives people a sense of identification as well as making them laugh. That's Tim's genius. He takes a big subject and makes it real and warm. Everything in this show is balanced by honesty and humour and that gives it integrity.'

Though 'the band' are a male presence, the remainder of the cast is made up of a majority of female actors, further elucidating the girl power dynamic within the show. On the subject of the women in the production Yazdan states...

'They are so amazing at what they do and every performance they inspire me to push myself. I feel so honoured,'

With Curtis adding...

'They are strong individuals and they are so good at what they do. It's a pleasure to work with people you feel so comfortable with and can learn from,'

Growing up we all had that band whose music spoke to us, helping us through tough times or aiding in the making and breaking or friendships. Thus, even for non-Take That fans, there is something to be gained by watching this show through the lives of these strong and courageous women, focalising on relationships. With this in mind, we asked everyone at New Wimbledon Theatre who their band was growing up, so we could gauge the spectrum of music interests and what artists fed into their formative years. See the below graph for an insight...

We were somewhat relieved to see Take That sharing the top spot with Busted, The Spice Girls and S Club 7.

Though the show resonates with those who have grown up listening to one band or another, (like many of our staff members did), as Alison Fitzjohn, (Claire) mentions the show is...

'...also cross-generational; you've got the kids who would have watched Let it Shine, Take That fans and then the mums and dads of Take That fans. It's totally relatable... a real trip down memory lane.'

So whatever your age, gender or experience get yourself down to the New Wimbledon Theatre 23 - 27 October to see it first in London. 

Book your THE BAND tickets today!