Rock Of Ages, York Grand Opera House

Noel Sullivan who plays Drew Boley in the Rock Of Ages production playing at York's Grand Opera House this week, with Cordelia Farnworth who plays Sherrie Christian. Picture David Harrison

Noel Sullivan who plays Drew Boley in the Rock Of Ages production playing at York's Grand Opera House this week, with Cordelia Farnworth who plays Sherrie Christian. Picture David Harrison

First published in Entertainment & Lifestyle
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We're promised a night of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll in this "award-winning smash hit musical" (their description, not mine) but get a traditional boy meets girl story with a back catalogue of 1980s rock numbers performed at top volume.

It's a production that has its moments but never quite pulls itsself together sufficiently to be more than a good night out for those of a rock inclination. If in doubt the show turns up the volume, tells another schoolboy joke (the level of humour rarely rises above the belt) and brings on scantily-clad girls to gyrate suggestively.

This is as far as it goes although mention must be made of the band who steal the show with some nifty guitar work. I must remind you that leading man Noel Sullivan used to be in a pop group named Hear'Say but has more than earned his spurs as a musical theatre performer for that past indiscretion to be put to bed.

Last time he was at the Grand Opera House he was in drag for Priscilla Queen Of The Desert and very good he was too. Now he's in excellent voice and cheery demeanour as would-be rock star Drew whose romance with would-be actress Sherrie (a chirpy Cordelia Farnworth) runs aground after her erotic toilet encounter (how romantic) with rock god Stacee Jaxx (Stephen Rolley, replacing an indisposed Ben Richards).

Stephen Rahman-Hughes is a hoot as the narrator Lonny whose comments on the action and interplay with the audience provide some of the highlights of a show that wisely doesn't take itself too seriously.

Until Saturday. Box office 0844-8713024 and online atgtickets.com/york

Steve Pratt

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