Jersey Boys Date Night at the Trafalgar Theatre
Disclaimer: We were gifted tickets to Jersey Boys for this post. All words and opinions are my own and may not be copied without my permission.
The Covid pandemic really did a number on the performing arts industry, with theatres having their doors closed for over a year.
Before Covid, Simon and I would regularly head down to London to see musicals and shows; it’s something we have done ever since we first began dating. It seemed fitting that given the opportunity to leave the house for a ‘date night’ for the first time in a very long time, we went to see the Jersey Boys at their new home in London, the newly refurbished (and renamed) Trafalgar Theatre.
The Jersey Boys has been on our radar for a few years, and we love musicals with a story and a good vibe. I’m delighted to tell you that it didn’t disappoint; it has gone right up there as one of my favourites alongside Wicked, The Lion King and We Will Rock You!!
The musical tells the true story of the extraordinary pop group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. They were four ordinary guys from New Jersey; Francis Castelluccio (later Frankie Valli), Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, and Bob Gaudio. Their journey to stardom didn’t come easily had lots of twists and turns along the way. Their story features humour, heartbreak, loss, betrayal and mob bosses – yes, you read that right.
Frankie Valli is played by Ben Joyce, who graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts this Summer! His role in Jersey Boys is his West End debut, and he smashed it. The audience was blown away by the sounds he created with his voice.
The whole band were awesome; Adam Bailey (Bob Gaudio), Karl James Wilson (Nick Massi) and Benjamin Yates (Tommy DeVito) sang seamlessly together to create their unique sound. The applause at the end of the big numbers rolled on and on, with the guys laughing and having to prompt the audience to stop so the show could go on.
Ordinarily, I think it would be a show that would have people up on their feet dancing, all around us, the audience was singing, clapping and bobbing along in their seats, but we didn’t know if we could or even should stand and dance given the current climate. It didn’t spoil it one bit, but it was definitely in the back of my mind and certainly didn’t halt a long-standing ovation at the end and encore from the cast.
The Whole Shebang!
The clever set changes took us from the streets of New Jersey to Recording Studios (I loved this one!), the Four Seasons bowling alley to the jail and various pubs, clubs and hotels along the way. The supporting cast and swing changed effortlessly between roles and costumes, and the whole thing just worked perfectly. It was a show that you didn’t want to end.
All New Trafalgar Theatre
The Trafalgar Theatre was formerly known as Trafalgar Studios, a Grade II listed building just off Trafalgar Square. Whilst the theatres were forced to remain closed to the public, the Trafalgar Studios was restored to its original heritage with 1930s design to become the Trafalgar Theatre.
Using photographs of the original building, the multi-million-pound restoration project has replicated the auditorium carpet and seating fabric with greens, creams and yellows in contrast to the monochromatic walls and ceiling. The effect is simply stunning!
The whole experience was positive, from the front-of-house staff to the inviting entrance foyer, modern toilet facilities, and a well-stocked bar. It felt so good to be back doing something we loved in somewhere so special.