A show for anyone who’s ever loved music
The world premiere of FANS, a new theatre and music show, opened this September. Nights Out In Newcastle were lucky enough to be invited to the Northern Stage last night to review this theatre performance meets gig and we certainly were not left disappointed. This show should be enjoyed at maximum volume for it’s raucous, passionate performances and humour.
Based on people’s love affair with music it mixes real north east music fans recorded confessions with scripted drama, verbatim theatre and high energy live music. With so much involved you might be thinking how exactly will this all work on stage but the cast make it look seamless, as they take you on a journey of discovery with their warming tribute to music lovers.
Fun, loud and heart warming the cast play their way through recent musical history. They take great care and attention to detail in admiring the diversity in music and the way it touches people, all the while finding humour, poking fun at the way people can become obsessive about ‘the greatest band ever‘.
FANS explores how music can make you feel and belong to a time or genre and how it can shape your identity. The cast bring a real passion for music of all kinds and get the crowd involved and along for their journey. The four protagonists are forming a band, looking for their own musical identity with hilarious clashes between the members. Part musical confessional the cast make you feel like their characters are a real cover band, falling apart in rehearsal before your very eyes with comical consequences only to bring it all back together with their passion for music. It works really well on that level as they use subtle expressions, cheeky jibes and comic acting while others perform their favourite songs.
Alongside the comedy, great acting and musical in jokes they really can belt out a tune to get the crowd going. Definitely one for those who like a sing along and the variety of era spanning hits means there is something for everyone. We did have the idea of jotting down which epic anthems from your childhood they performed but the sheer volume and speed they switch between the songs meant we just had to sit back, enjoy and sing along!
A real show stopper it was definitely worth watching and we would recommend to any music lovers out there.
Created and Directed by Melanie Rashbrooke
Written by Nina Berry with additional material by Melanie Rashbrooke
Designed by Luke W. Robson
Musical Direction by Chris Foley
Lighting and Sound Designed by Craig Spence
Cast: Andrew Bleakley, Meghan Doyle, Chris Foley and Charlotte Raine
Theatre meets gig. An eclectic and hilarious mix of stories told through raucous live music and verbatim theatre interwoven with fictionalised scripted drama. Based on people’s love affair with music FANS fuses together true stories (and some not so true stories) with real music fan confessions.
Full of emotion, humour and musical pulse.
FANS is a new show currently in development.
Wed 14 Sept
Northern Stage @ 8pm (doors 7.30 pm)
Box Office: 0191 230 5151
Thur 15 & Fri 16 Sept
Washington Arts Centre @ 7.30 pm
Box Office: 0191 561 3455
FANS has been awarded this year’s Bridging the Gap (an initiative designed to aid the creation of new theatre work within the North East region) and is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and has received support from The Sunday for Sammy Trust, which supports creative talent on Tyneside.
You can get involved and upload your own music stories and memories or read and look at others here.