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Hot Stuff at The Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch

Hot Stuff
Jacob Richmond-Caines, Lady Felicia, Wade Lewin (Hot Stuff, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch 2015, photo by Mark Sepple)

Even if you’re not a fan of 70s disco hits (and I certainly am), ‘Hot Stuff’ at Queens Theatre in Hornchurch is guaranteed to have you unsuccessfully suppressing an enormous grin, and trying, equally unsuccessfully, to stop your foot tapping along with the tunes that this show bowls at you. Ok, it’s not a particularly clever reworking of the songs, and a storyline is practically nonexistent, but this show delivers a corker of a suburbanly gleeful night out, staying just the wrong side of tasteful for it to be thoroughly enjoyable.

With a little of ‘Faustus’, a little of Liz Hurley’s ‘Bedazzled’ and a lot of disco and 70s Rock to hold the show together and give it girating purpose, the loose story sees Lucy Fur, the devils disciple, sign Joe, played beguilingly by Matthew Quinn, up to a wretched deal to become the world’s biggest rock star. Meanwhile his long suffering girlfriend Julie, played by Sarah Mahony gets pushed to the side.

This is a revival of a West End musical and it certainly lives up to its roots. A fantastically talented company of performers is led by the determinedly seductive Lady Felicia in the role of Lucy Fur. Cameron Jones makes a devilishly outstanding narrator with the flair, talent and look of Freddie Mercury. I began actually to wish he had a bigger role. The production is immaculately well rehearsed and given the level of tech used in terms of dazzling costumes, fantastic set and props, and sound and lighting effects, the overall performance flowed very smoothly.

Live music is a fabulous bonus and is provided by the cast who double up as the onstage band. The stand out performance of the evening was Mahony’s rendition of ‘Think’; her soulful performance and commitment to the song equals Aretha herself. Attention to detail in the set pieces such as the Tesco scene with a reworking of ‘D-I-S-C-O’ provided masses of comedy with costume changes and quips, and got big laughs from the very responsive audience.

All in all ‘Hot Stuff’ makes for a fantastically good value-for-money night out. It’s certain to have you smiling from the outset and even if it feels a little clunky and contrived in places, overall the show is a big winner from a cast and production team whose dedication and enjoyment is self-evident. If you’re in the Hornchurch area I couldn’t recommend this show more.

4 stars

 

Review by Annemarie Hiscott

HOT STUFF
A disco night you’ll never want to end!
The sizzling cult musical Hot Stuff explodes onto the Queen’s Theatre stage from 23 May – 13 June, jam-packed with iconic dance-floor anthems from the 70s. And the Queen’s is overjoyed to introduce the devilishly delicious, sinfully sumptuous talents of Lady Felicia – star performer extraordinaire of this fun-packed feast of music and dance!

We meet disco dancer Joe Soap who dreams of becoming a rich and famous rock star, so he signs a pact with the devil. Well, it’s actually the devil’s flamboyant, high-heeled disciple Lucy Fur in all her glamorous glory… and things go anything but to plan! Does Joe ditch his girlfriend Julie for fame, fortune and the seductive wiles of Miss Hot Stuff? Outrageous costumes, dazzling choreography and an incredible set complete the magic of this thrilling rollercoaster ride through the best decade of pop, disco, glam rock and punk!

The Queen’s larger-than-life new luminary Lady Felicia takes the lead as the super-glitzy, effortlessly evil Lucy Fur! Chum of royalty and favourite of the stars (allegedly), Felicia has an extensive stage and screen cv, having worked with the crème de la crème of the entertainment industry – from a stint on Broadway (Fulham Broadway) to touring around Europe (mainly Fuengirola)! To find out more about this amazing lady and read her rehearsal diaries (where she dishes the dirt on her poor co-stars!), visit her blog at ladyfelicia.weebly.com

Dashing, ultra-talented West End performer Matthew Quinn, stars as Joe Soap. Audiences will remember Matthew from his several appearances in Queen’s musicals over the years, most notably as the highly-acclaimed star turn in The Rocky Horror Show, Frank N Furter. Matthew recently performed in the West End’s hit musical Dreamboats and Petticoats, which also toured the UK.

A sensational party from start to finish, this high-octane, foot-stomping extravaganza features smash hits from the likes of ABBA, Michael Jackson, Queen, The Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, Donna Summer, Barbara Streisand and many more. All performed live on stage by a large cast of the Queen’s award-winning professional ensemble of actor-musicians – and now dancers – cut to the chase…

Devised by Maggie Norris and Paul Kerryson, Hot Stuff has delighted and entertained thousands for over 20 years – from the West End to several national tours. And now it’s your turn to dig out those flares, platforms and devil horns for a disco night you’ll never want to end! Come and be crowned the Dancing Queens of Hornchurch!

The cast also includes cut to the chase… members Sarah Mahony and Al Twist and the Queen’s is delighted to welcome eight fresh faces – Hollie Cassar, Greg Clarke, Valentina Dolci, Gabriela Garcia, Cameron Jones, Adam Langstaff, Wade Lewin and Jacob Richmond-Caines.

Hot Stuff is directed by the Queen’s Associate Director Matt Devitt, who also directed last spring’s hugely popular musical Godspell. Set and costume design is by Mark Walters, musical direction by Julian Littman, lighting design by Chris Howcroft, sound design by Dan Crews and choreography by Valentina Dolci. Lydia Hardiman is Assistant Costume Designer and Karl Stevens is Co-Choreographer.

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