For those who aren't up on their 90's British music; Never Forget is a musical using the songs from the boy band Take That. I was hoping it be semi biographical and I would get some useful insight into British culture. But instead of creating a stand-alone story around the existing catalogue of music, they tell the story of some blokes from Manchester who decide to audition for a Take That tribute band in order to win the £10,000 prize to save someone's mother's pub.
So I spent the first half of the first act wondering which one was supposed to be Robbie Williams and not "which one is pretending to be a bloke from Manchester, pretending to be Robbie Williams. " If you're not already familiar with the boy band and their history, you just won't be able to keep up or appreciate some of the banter. Heck, if you're not familiar with at least 4 different types of Northern English accent you won't be able to understand half of them.
I will admit to laughing a LOT- but it wasn't always when they would have been expecting it... During the lead actress's one big solo number, the atmosphere in the theatre was that of a karaoke bar, with people talking and giggling while others sarcastically waved their lit lighters. But at least she inspired a big whoop and holler during the obligatory key change.
Check out those red pleather man undies!! with belt!
I think the biggest problem I had was that everything seemed pretty sub-par. The sets consist mostly of two big boxes which are shifted around the stage to create a bar, a salsa club, a strip club (no, seriously...) an alley, an office etc... The only exciting features of the entire show had to be the pyrotechnics during the ridiculous "Relight my Fire" scene (see above) and the rain to end Act I. It's probably a big spoiler to tell you that not only do the actors get rained on during a "heartfelt" ballad, but the engineers have somehow managed to make the rain spell out "Never Forget". I want to know who woke up in the middle of the night thinking that was a good idea.
In the end, although I managed to see this gem for free, I'd say the show is worth about £10.
As my colleagues explained to me later- this show is far too "camp" for words.