I have read some of the worst reviews ever on this musical and thus was interested to see for myself. I have to admit having seen the show, they were not far wrong.
This story is one of passion, revenge and emotion, but this didn’t come across at all in the musical. The main problem is the music, it is too up beat and completely wrong for this type of story. At times it sounded very 70s disco. and didn’t co ordinate at all with the sets, costumes and theme which resulted in a loss of atmosphere. There is only one memorable song, ‘Isabella’ which is the one I hummed as I left the theatre, the rest of the music is very average.
Another problem is the poor choreography with a lack of imagination . The Labatts Apollo Hammersmith is a massive auditorium and the characters looked a little lost sometimes on the stage. The sets are superb, but not exploited to their full potential.
Cliff Richard who plays ‘Heathcliff’, sang most songs fine, but I think a few numbers needed a stronger voice. His acting though is terrible and at times I felt embarrassed for him, but you could tell he was enjoying himself and so too were the middle aged ladies in the audience.
Helen Hobson(of Passion fame at the Queens last year) plays ‘Cathy’ . She performed her role convincingly and sang competently.
I do feel the producers have not put much thought in to the production, it looks clumsy and lacks any kind of affection and atmosphere. It really does just look like a cheap put together in order to make a lot of money on the back of Cliff Richard.
Verdict: Cliff Richard fans will love it, serious musical fans will hate it.