Jersey Boys – Review – Hull New Theatre

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jersey boys review hull new theatre february 2018

Jersey Boys – Review

Hull New Theatre, February 2018

by Rachel Howard

As the curtain raises to a sold-out crowd at Hull New Theatre, the anticipation is palpable. Jersey Boys is one of those rarities – a musical that needs very little marketing, publicity or introduction – its cult status means the majority of the audience have probably seen it before (be that in the West End, Broadway or a national tour similar to this one). But that doesn’t mean the excitement for the night’s entertainment is lacking, in fact, I think it adds to the buzz around the auditorium.

I must be one of the anomalies – a member of the audience who hasn’t seen the show before. I’m aware of the basics – the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – but I’m waiting to see what all the fuss is about. My concerns are two-fold – it’ll be too much of a “jazz hands” cheesy musical, and that I will only know a couple of their most famous songs.

I needn’t have worried on either count. This is one classy act – no jazz hands to be found on this stage – and I found myself (along with the rest of the audience) singing along to pretty much all the songs.

jersey boys review hull new theatre february 2018 live

“Humour and emotion”

The cast is headed up by Michael Watson (Valli), Simon Bailey (Tommy DeVito), Declan Egan (Bob Gaudio) and Lewis Griffiths (Nick Massi). Individually, they are all fantastic, but together they form a powerhouse of harmonies, dance moves and chemistry. A special mention must be given to the quality of Watson’s voice – he really hits the high notes in his recreation of Valli’s unique falsetto voice.

The show tells the story of the how four Jersey boys came together to form one of the most successful groups of their generation. Their journey was not an easy one, peppered with time spent in prison, broken hearts, loss and grief, but our four main stars guide us through their story, providing humour, emotion and, of course, a big dollop of what made them so successful – the music.

The show is jam-packed with the group’s hits – ‘Beggin’’, ‘Oh What A Night’, ‘Earth Angel’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Sherry’ and ‘Bye Bye Baby’, to name just a few. My personal highlight was the performance of ‘My Eyes Adored You’ by Valli and Mary Delgado (played brilliantly by Tara Young) – in a show that is full of humour and upbeat songs, it makes for a beautiful, touching interlude.

jersey boys review hull new theatre february 2018 valli


At just over two and a half hours long, you might worry that this could drag in places, but I’m happy to say you’d be wrong. Both acts are action-packed, featuring no less than 34 musical numbers in total. Although the music takes centre stage (and quite rightly so), the acting is exceptional, and the infamous Four Seasons dance moves are expertly portrayed by the group – resulting in riotous applause, not to mention standing ovations.

The supporting cast do a great job of bringing the era to life. The costumes are spot on, and the band’s outfits – sparkly suits and all – only help to send the audience straight back to the magic of the 1960s and 70s.

jersey boys review hull new theatre february 2018 girls

“Huge machine”

For a touring show, this is a huge machine – the cast, creative team, production team and orchestra all come together to produce something that’s more akin to a long-running show in the West End. Although simple, the set is more than you would expect from something that gets packed away into a truck every week. The use of a live-action screen to set the scene and guide the audience through each period of time is a novel idea and one that definitely works.

As I walk out of the packed theatre, I realise why so many people come back time and time again to this show. It really is an escape to a simpler time. It wasn’t a painless journey to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, but it was clearly worth the heartache as the music they created still resonates with people all over the world today.

So, having watched Jersey Boys for the first time, will I be going again? Well, judging by the fact I haven’t stopped humming the songs for the last 24 hours, I think that is a definite yes. Oh What A Night!

One Comment on "Jersey Boys – Review – Hull New Theatre"

  1. Richard and karan March 4, 2018 at 7:36 PM · Reply

    Wow – what an amazing night, from start to finish you are entertained. I did not want it to end, it makes you want to get up and dance. Will 100% be going to see it again.

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