Visit after visit to the Oldham Coliseum never fails to impress, the quality of their productions are always up there with the best to be seen in the West End or national tours. And now their latest offering, Hot Stuff has pushed the quality bar even higher! The cast, most of which have played on the West End are slick, well-rehearsed and can sure belt out a tune or two much to the delight of the press night audience.
Hot Stuff returns to the Oldham Coliseum to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its World Premiere. Originally designed by Paul Kerryson and Maggie Norris this anniversary production is directed by current Coliseum Artistic Director Kevin Shaw.
Wannabe rock star Joe Soap (Benjamin Stratton) will stop at nothing in his bid for fame and fortune. He strikes a demonic deal with the devil’s right-hand woman, drag queen Lucy Fur (Alan French), and ditches his ballroom dancing sweetheart Julie (Ibinabo Jack) on the dance floor. Sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll – It’s a one way ticket to hell…
Hot Stuff is a wickedly outrageous ride through the best and worst of the ‘70s and ‘80s, the show features a host of hits including: Blame it on the Boogie, Nutbush, Le Freak, D.I.S.C.O, Addicted to Love and of course Hot Stuff.
Narrated by The Boss (Paul Duckworth) the show has a Rocky Horror feel to it at times and at others a Pantomime as French as Lucy Fur converses with the audience and has more costume changes than that of a gaggle of Panto dames!
But what shines through brighter than anything is the music. Backed by a multi-talented band comprising of Howard Gray (MD), Tom Connor, Adam West and Mark Newnham they prove they can not only play amazingly, they can dance and sing as well.
A trio of backing singers, or Hell’s Angels to be more exact are Lakeshia Cammock, Nicola Hawkins and Abigail Climer complete this talented cast with Climer doubling up as Miss Hot Stuff, Hell’s temptress. Indeed the entire cast play numerous roles throughout the evening.
The design by Foxton is one to marvel at. A multi-functional set is upstaged by the breath-taking costumes which give Priscilla, Queen of the Desert a run for its money. Jason Taylor’s lighting design crowns this lavish production perfectly.
Whilst the entire cast shine special mention has to go to French as Lucy Fur and Jack as Julie. I lost count of the number of costume changes French had mid-way through the first half such was their frequency with each one seemingly more outrageous than the last. And Jack simply wows with her powerful voice and sensational delivery throughout.
Hot Stuff tantalises at every moment and it is clear why this show has been both on the West End stage and on numerous UK tours over the last quarter of a decade. Judging by tonight’s performance it is set for another 25 years at least. It is truly the hottest thing on stage!
The show runs at Oldham Coliseum until the 26th September and North West End recommends that you be a devil and see this stunning production.
Reviewer: Paul Downham
Reviewed: 8th September 2015