Brett Herriot Review

The Cher Show, A New Musical, Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Review:

A triumphant musical phenomenon

**** 4 Stars

Cherilyn Sarkisian is an undisputed queen of pop and has also become an award winning actress with a career that spans 60 years.  Despite several retirement world tours this queen continues to reinvent herself and please her masses of fans, this incredible power house of creativity is better known to us all as simply Cher!

2018 saw Cher get the musical biography treatment in this new show from book writer Rick Elice with 35 of Cher’s biggest hits included, it opened in Chicago prior to a transfer to Broadway. An overhauled production of the show came to the Leicester Square Curve in 2019. Following a pandemic hiatus The Cher Show finally arrives in Edinburgh as part of its first UK Tour and what a sparkling, sequined soaked treat it is!

 Cher appears in triplicate with three “generations” of Cher interacting throughout the production and Director Arlene Phillips (yes the legendary grand Dame of Strictly come dancing) interweaves the story between them with a deft skill. This is further supported by Oti Mabuse’s electric Choreography which shines in its epic endurance.

Star “Debbie Kurup”, Lady “Danielle Steers” and Babe “Millie O’Connell” are the three phases of Cher and each one of them shines with all being able to channel Cher’s unique vocal tone with accomplished eased. The threesome also have stunning vocal ability as they belt out hit after hit, and special mention must go to Danielle Steers who top notes resonate around the auditorium sending chills down the spine.

This biographical show takes us from 1955 right through to 2005 and thanks to Tom Rogers stellar set design  the passing years are woven in throughout the production and if you can keep your eyes peeled you can spot the years literally zip by!. Ben Cracknell’s lighting design is pure west end; however on press night there was a bit of epic failure in the finale set piece as the H in CHER failed to light and sparkle as it should. Dan Samson’s design is spot on the money going from almost arena pop concert to the intimate moments of drama peppered throughout the show. Cher has always been known for her fashion statements across her 60 years in the limelight and Gabriella Slade’s costume design is giving free reign to bask in the over the top campness of it all bringing a knowing smile to the audience giving a triumphant musical phenomenon overall.

What sets The Cher Show apart from most jukebox musicals is its powerfully emotional story it contains, Cher may well have enjoyed the highest of successes but it came with incredible emotional lows, her choice in men lead to heartache and the scenes featuring Lucas Rush’s “Sonny” pull no punches, a toxic and abusive relationship is explored but the ultimate truth following Sonny’s accidental death in 1998 is that Love is what makes Cher who and what she is today.

The Cher show does everything it should and ensures an epic night out at the theatre. So be sure that you believe in life after love and head to the Festival Theatre for tickets now! Because you cant turn back time!

The Cher Show, A New Musical, Festival Theatre Edinburgh Runs until Saturday 15th October for tickets go to: The Cher Show (capitaltheatres.com)

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