Guitar heroes descend on the New Vic stage

IT’S a formula that has worked spectacularly well in other areas – and now rock music is getting the theatre nostalgia treatment.

One Night of Rock will feature the songs of Kiss, ZZ Top, Muse, Rolling Stones, Status Quo, Whitesnake, AC/DC and many more, just the way the people behind the show planned.

The idea is based on a tried and trusted method used for more than 20 years by an Essex-based company known simply as ‘Entertainers’.

“We tour about 15 different theatre shows all over the UK,” explains producer Gary Mack.

“We started with Thank You For The Music, which is based on the songs of Abba and the Bee Gees and it still tours now after 20 years. The reason it was successful is that every song in the show is an instantly recognisable, multi-million-selling hit.

“Then we came up with the Magic of Motown, using songs from people like The Supremes and The Four Tops and, again, the common thread was that you’re never more than one song away from a million-selling hit.”

Now the company has come up with One Night of Rock, featuring massive hits like Whole Lotta Love, Sweet Child O’ Mine, Born To Be Wild, Bohemian Rhapsody, Walk This Way and Freebird.

“One Night of Rock is the latest string to our bow,” explains Gary. “We were being asked for a rock show by theatres and we thought there are so many great songs by people like Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi, Guns ’N’ Roses… so we’ve done it and there are 48 songs in the show in just two hours!

“The poor cast lose about a stone in sweat each night because it’s such a high-energy show.”

The musicians are key to the success of the shows, according to Gary – and One Night of Rock features an all-female band as the back line, although there are male vocalists.

“We’ve put together all our shows on the basis that the performers are fanatics within the field,” he adds. “For the Abba and Bee Gees one, the cast were selected because they looked and sounded like the real thing, and the same with Motown.

“For One Night of Rock, it’s an all-female band and they’re all fantastic musicians. The thinking there was that we were looking for bands that knew the songs, we wanted actual rockers.

“People would see through it if the musicians weren’t a proper rock band and we quickly discovered that there were some great female rock musicians out there and it added something a bit different.

“There’s also a full laser show – it’s the nearest thing to an arena show in a theatre.”

One Night of Rock will be at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, on Saturday 23 January.

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