Newsies: My thoughts

Newsies: My thoughts

I went to see Disney’s Newsies at the Trebador Theatre for the first time on Wednesday 21st December I saw the 2:30 performance. Since then I have been back to see more performances because I love it so much! Let me tell you I am OBSESSED! The theatre, the story, the cast, the whole show was phenomenal.  If you’re reading this to decide whether to watch the answer is yes, go and book your tickets NOW!

The show tells the story of a group of young newspaper boys (called Newsies) in New York City who are taken advantage of; their leader Jack Kelly, played by Micheal Ahomka-Lindsay, decided to form a Union and strike. However Jack’s ruthless past gets brought up and has to decide wether to support the boys he works with or obey superiors all while he gets caught up with a girl without knowing who she really is. The story is so relevant as it gives power to the youth and shows what you can achieve when you work together. As well as all these strikes happening!

To start let’s talk about the theatre itself, it’s a modern theatre opened in 2019 and it is excellent. With things like a huge bar, a surplus of toilets and comfy seats it is great for the audience; also with an industrial look, high ceilings and changeable seating it’s the perfect venue for Newsies. As you enter the auditorium you are right in front of the stage to take it all in but it doesn’t stop there. There are props and stages at different levels all around the space and the performers use all of these during the show. I was sat in row G in Brooklyn for the first performance I saw and it was incredible as there was action going on all around me, I really felt a part of the show. The set is very basic but that’s all it needs to be, the performance speaks for itself and really doesn’t need a set to enhance it and with the endless dancing lots of space is required.

Newsies is well known for its large male ensemble and their dancing, this production sure lives up to that reputation. The cast is full of incredible talent from dancers all around the world. The performance involves lots of technique, balance, stamina and strength not to mention the aireal, tap and gymnastics skills in the performance too. It really is packed full of tricks, kicks and turns; those paired with impeccable timing make for an exceptional show. The show won an Olivier earlier this year for best choreography (done by Matt Cole) and for me it is so well deserved, the dancing is faultless.

As I mentioned earlier the set is very simple, the main set piece being the three tier of fire escape style stairs that are in the centre of the stage as you enter. These remain on stage the whole time and move to form different layouts involving other set pieces. The use of set is minimal to make space for the surplus of dancing, the dance is really the focus of the show therefore I don’t think the set is really needed. Having the whole auditorium accessorised was really clever, it really make you feel like you were in the streets of New York.

This production largely differs from the boradway version (you may have seen this on Disney+) of course it has the same story and songs but the space they have used allows the performance to excel. In my opinion this version runs circles around the Broadway version however I never saw that in person so can’t say for certain. Although the vocals of Jeremy Jordan are hard to beat, that’s about the only thing that could be improved in the London production, solo vocals could be stronger. But I would say this is worth a trip to theatre to see rather than a movie night on the sofa at home.

Overall the show is sensational and a theatre experience like no other. Sadly this production closes on the 30th of July, so you only have a couple weeks left to catch it, but we are told it won’t be gone for long so I’m thinking it may be going on a UK tour! This is a show you don’t want to miss, like every Disney show it’s phenomenal.

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