Back to the Future has been turned into a musical extravaganza and made its world premiere on stage at Manchester’s Opera House. With the rise of technology, theatre keeps pushing the boundaries and this new musical is leading the way with its ingenious staging.
It’s always a challenge when adapting an iconic film for the stage, but this production is executed with huge success. The characters and scenes everyone knows and loves receive huge cheers from the audience and whilst it stays true to its origins for the huge fan base this film carries, it is impressively theatrical.
The way the set and special effects bring this story to life on stage is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. We are transported into a new generation of theatre and it is revolutionary. Designer Tim Hatley has done a extraordinary job creating the retro 80s vibe that gives the show a rocking opening. The set is detailed and vibrant, it moves seamlessly between scenes making a real cinematic experience.
Of course the star of the show is the iconic time travelling machine the DeLorean. Video Designer Finn Ross has done an exceptional job using projection to portray the car speeding through time. You feel as if you’re in a cross between a video game and a ride at Universal Studios – it’s a truly jaw-dropping experience. The way the lighting, projection and sound works together makes it more than a theatre production but a time travelling adventure.
Olly Dobson is flawless as leading man Marty McFly. With a charismatic personality, killer vocals and dynamic energy, he honours the original role but makes it his own. Opposite him, Roger Bart steals the show as Doc Brown. Encapsulating the vivacious character, he brings immense humour with his spirited personality and slick comedy timing. The mad scientist has big dreams and we get to delve more into his character through the moving musical number For The Dreamers.
It’s almost as if the role of Biff was created for Aidan Cutler who commands the stage as the dominating bully who torments George McFly played by Hugh Coles. Coles is fantastically funny as the awkward young lad – his characterisation is faultless.
Rosanna Hyland is excellently sweet as Lorraine Baines, Cedric Neal brings the house down with his stellar vocals and Courtney-Mae Briggs showcases an outstanding voice it’s a shame shes only featured at the top and tail of the show. The ensemble make the production so musically strong as they fill the stage with electric energy. Chris Bailey’s choreography captures both eras superbly and the big musical numbers pack a real punch. Whilst some of the songs could be trimmed down, overall it’s a first-class production.
Back to the Future takes the theatre experience to the next level, with all the elements of a feel-good musical paired with unforgettable special effects, it’s a visual masterpiece and theatrical triumph.
On at Manchester’s Opera House until Sun 17 May, tickets and information can be found on their website.