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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

Velvet Rewired at the Athenaeum Theatre - 75 minutes

OMG! Wow. If you are after a show that is energy on steroids and positively sizzles, you simply have to see Velvet Rewired – a celebration of the sensational ‘70s and the disco beat.

What a superb production. It is electrifying and takes much pride and pleasure in whipping the audience into a frenzy.

Slick and dynamic, poised and polished, it is uplifting and joyful – a magnificent 75 minutes of theatrical and musical excellence.

The constant is the rhythm … the pulse … the groove of an era in its full glory.

Kitted out in extra-large, wrap around sunnies and a bedazzling tie, DJ and music director Joe Accaria sets the tone in the lead up to the first of 17 glorious numbers.

Enter the incomparable Marcia Hines. Doesn’t she look and sound magnificent? It is not a stretch to say that she appears to have found the secret elixir of youthful beauty and that stunning voice of hers remains intact. I couldn’t get enough of it.

She, of course, shot to fame at the tender age of 16 in Hair and followed that up with a leading role in Jesus Christ Superstar.

The lead male vocalist Tom Sharah, too, is silky smooth throughout as he sashays and serenades.

But you would be wrong to think that the fireworks in Velvet Rewired are restricted to the musical mastery. Far from it.

Turn your mind to a cavalcade of lighting luminescence, acrobatic artistry and skating supremacy.

The dexterity and aerial agility of Danny Golding and Harley Timmermans – individually and collectively – is mesmerising as they soar, tumble and twirl above the stage at the Ath.

Their heart in mouth moments are matched by a pair of roller skating daredevils – Sven and Jan – who risk life and limb on a tiny circular platform.

Among Cirque du Soleil’s finest, Jan is tossed and turned at speed by strongman Sven – her head at times barely centimetres above the floor. Oh my!

And then there is quite the find in Marc “Fullout” Royale, a big man with a giant personality, who Rocks the Casbah to the sheer delight of everyone present.

In fact, the choreography evident throughout the show is a triumph for Amy Campbell, who is responsible.

That leaves me to praise leggy sirens Sasha Lee Saunders and Jacinta Gulisano, who captivate as dancers and backup singers.

A huge plus in Velvet Rewired is the colourful and creative, mood setting light show, the brainchild of lighting maestro Matthew Marshall.

And here is where I must bring in the awesome endeavours of set and costume designer James Browne.

He has gone above and beyond in capturing our attention with an ever-changing tapestry of shimmer and shine, elegant and bold.

Finally, huge plaudits to the director Craig Ilott for creating a masterful show that is on song throughout and so much fun.

Please do not miss Velvet Rewired. It is on at the Athenaeum Theatre until 7th May, 2023.


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