Newsies ★★★★ Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre | Until April 16, 2023

Newsies is a big brash musical that has some absolutely breathtaking dancing sequences. Its themes of workers striking for fairer treatment and the media's manipulation of public opinion may resonate with today's headlines, but finally in this show it's the choreography that carries the day. Based on the Disney movie of the same name, Newsies tells the true story of a group of newspaper sellers who take on the press baron, Joseph Pulitzer, when he attempts to raise the price of their bundles from 50 to 60 cents apiece. It's an inspiring tale leavened with a love story that involves the leader of the strike Jack Kelly, ably played by Michael Ahomka-Lindsay, sparring with Pulitzer's rebellious daughter, Katherine, interpreted by Bronté Barbé. None of the songs struck us as particularly memorable, but to be fair, some of their impact was lost in sound issues that also occasionally rendered the dialogue unintelligible. The Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre is an enormous space that is not always easy to manage acoustically, and this was unfortunately the case on our visit. However, it didn't really matter too much as everything in this show takes second place to Matt Cole's choreography. He makes inspired use of the cavernous venue he is given, and the enthusiasm and energy of the dancers is inspirational. Their skill and athleticism bring the audience to its feet and make Newsies a memorable theatrical experience.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Johan Persson.

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