Adelphi Theatre (venue)
27 September 2021 (released)
28 September 2021
The Adelphi is transformed into a vision of the future with circuit board light encompassing the stage and its surrounding walls, fluorescent tentacles reaching far into the auditorium. The original film, 'Back To The Future' was such a huge box office smash it's hard to beat in terms of all-round family entertainment. Its universal popularity makes repeat screenings on every channel imaginable and even though you know it almost by heart you just can't flick past it. Happily todays technology makes the transition to stage possible, with a huge LED back-screen, graphic projections, firework illuminations and programmed set whisking us from scene to scene with ease.
The familiarity of the film clearly makes for an enjoyable experience with the script staying true to the original. The show leaps from scene to scene with impressive speed, the pace never wavering. Any doubts of how the car scenes would translate to stage were quashed early on with screens, projections and sound combining with dramatic effect. Tim Hatley’s set designs are detailed and impressive, perfectly capturing the 1950s.
Doc Brown, played by Roger Bart, lifts this production from the moment he sets foot on stage. His complex characterisation is the prime source of comedy. The casting is perfect and on opening night the producers must have been beside themselves with the news that he had been struck down with Covid. Luckily understudy Mark Oxtoby did him proud. Marty McFly played by Olly Dobson also embodied the character with ease as did Hugh Coles playing George McFly whose clunky imitations also deliver on the comedic front.
The climax delivers the films huge hit The Power of Love in amongst another 16 new well-worked songs with the music and lyrics by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard. Johnny B Goode is retained in the classic Enchantment Under the Sea Dance guitar scene at Hill Valley High School. George McFly's comical 'My Myopia' and Doc Brown's '21st Century' two highlights amongst many.
The crescendo brings it's own surprises, but it's safe to say the DeLorian time machine delivers on all counts. The 88mph moments set the heart racing as the DeLorian steals the show. A stunning translation of an epic film that seemingly knows no limits. Some classic timeless lines, and many new ones expertly delivered even referencing infectious disease when dreaming of the future 2020. I loved it, it's very hard to see how anyone could not.