42nd Street, Drury Lane Theatre, London
Bonnie's back in town and boy can this gal sing and dance! Last night saw the Gala Performance of 42nd Street, with the fabulous Bonnie Langford in the role of Dorothy Buck, the troupe diva who is to perform 'Pretty Lady' under the ambitious direction of Julian Marsh (Tom Lister).Ironically her role demands her inability to dance! Langford plays it with gusto and humour, belting out her numbers with energy, enthusiasm and power. And don't worry, we are treated to her amazing tap dancing skills in the grand scale finale and wow, she is a joy.

So, taking our seats, we waited for the famous rise of the curtain which would reveal the fantastic tapping of the ensemble's fast moving feet. The orchestra sounded and conductor, Jae Alexander, turned to the excited audience with a delighted grin which spread from ear to ear, inviting us in to share this fabulous spectacle and slick production. And so it was. Engaged and enthralled we settled into our seats to watch the brilliance of the talented cast under the fantastic direction of Mark Bramble, to soak in the elaborate and magnificent sets (Douglas W Schmidt) and relish the exciting choreography (Randy Skinner). And let's not forget those brilliant costume changes that seemed to happen in mere seconds only.

With those familiar numbers which include: 'Keep Young and Beautiful, I Only Have Eyes for You, We're In The Money, Lullaby of Broadway, Shuffle Off to Buffalo and, of course, 42nd Street' we were treated to a wondrous evening of spectacle and delight, mesmerised by the speed of the hoofers' tapping.

So much talent in one evening. Clare Halse was formidable in her role of Peggy Sawyer and left the audience gasping as she sped on her taps around the stage. Ashley Day as Billow Lowlor was exhilarating in his role, giving genuine pleasure and enjoyment to his performance with his glorious smile and wonderful voice. And of course Jasna Ivir and Christopher Howell, playing Maggie Jones and Burt Betty, gave the production its authenticity.

Praise to the nostalgia and escapism, no more so than in the splendour of the full ensemble in their lavish, sparkling costumes performing '42nd Street' with its magnificent staircase and Busby Berkeley mirror effect. Delightful!

And as the performance ended, the audience erupted into cheers and, in almost choreographed unison, rose to their feet as one. Hands ached with the applause, not least for the fabulous orchestra with many hanging back to hear its last strains after the curtain had fallen. Go see it - you must!

Playing until January 2019, Bonnie Langford is a superb addition to complement this wonderful cast. Her energy is mischievous and feisty and it is clear that she enjoys every moment. As my husband said, 'What's not to enjoy?' Cheers to that and now I must dust off my tap shoes and rejoin a class.

Photography: Matt Crockett

Book: Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble 

Music: Harry Warren

Lyrics Al Dubin

Royal, Drury Lane,
Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JF 

Season Dates 
Now booking until January 2019



 Monday-Saturday 7.30 pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees 2.30 pm. 

 Tickets from £15 


0844 995 5000 


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Twitter: @42ndStreetLDN