Back to the Future – review

"I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this play and can confirm that it is one of the best graphical plays I have ever seen. Worth watching!"
afridiziak ratings
Review by: Chrissy Nicole
Published: Monday 11th October 2021, 08:44am

Cedric Neal as Goldie Wilson in Back to the Future the Musical, credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes
Cedric Neal as Goldie Wilson in Back to the Future the Musical, credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes

Having never watched the original movie Back to the Future, I was excited to see what all the hype over the story was about – Now I understand!

Back to the Future transports its audience to the past and present in a real lifetime-travelling DeLorean. The moment you take your seat you automatically feel as though the stage is coming alive as electric currents run through the upper balcony and around the stage. This alone impressed me, and the play had not even begun.

Each character was extremely believable, and the acting was brilliant. Both Doc and Marty looked exactly like the original movie characters and kept the audience fully engaged.

The play opens with the full chorus singing about their wonderful town, before we are introduced to the likable and energetic Marty McFly (Olly Dobson). The opening scene was vibrant and energetic which set the tone for the whole play.

Roger Bart as Doc Brown & Olly Dobson as Marty McFly in Back to the Future the Musical, credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes
Roger Bart as Doc Brown & Olly Dobson as Marty McFly in Back to the Future the Musical, credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes

Set in the 80’s, 17-year-old Marty McFly is trying to enjoy his life whilst navigating high school and relationships. His love life is blooming, but his family life seems to be dwindling as he constantly watches his timid dad George McFly (Hugh Coles) get bullied by his manager, and former high school bully; Biff (Aidan Cutler). His mother Lorraine (Rosanna Hyland) depends on vodka to get through the day, his sister Linda (Emma Lloyd) is desperate to start dating and his brother Dave (Will Haswell) just wants to serve French fries.

The story line mirrors the original film, with Marty time travelling back to 1955 to try and save Doc (Roger Bart). When Marty enters 1955, he sticks out like a sore thumb as he attempts to change the past to rewrite the future. However, this is a lot harder than he anticipates, with Marty’s mother falling head over heels for him, leading to him teaching his dad to ‘man up’. Marty has to carefully navigate his time in the past, to make sure his actions don’t destroy the course of his future existence.

Roger Bart as Doc Brown, Rosanna Hyland as Lorraine Baines & Olly Dobson as Marty McFly in Back to the Future the Musical, credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes
Roger Bart as Doc Brown, Rosanna Hyland as Lorraine Baines & Olly Dobson as Marty McFly in Back to the Future the Musical, credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes

Each character was extremely believable, and the acting was brilliant. Both Doc and Marty looked exactly like the original movie characters and kept the audience fully engaged.

Although the actors were fantastic and their singing and dancing were brilliant, the songs fell slightly flat and unfortunately, at times felt misplaced in the play. Despite there being 16 songs, I found all of them underwhelming and forgettable!

The moment you take your seat you automatically feel as though the stage is coming alive as electric currents run through the upper balcony and around the stage. This alone impressed me, and the play had not even begun.

However, the play graphics made up for the weak songs. They were spectacular and made you feel as though you were immersed in a 3D computer game. The Showstopper was the time-travelling DeLorean that not only races around the stage at 88mph but also flies off the stage and goes upside down. Tim Hatley’s set designs are remarkable. From an under the sea themed school disco to Doc’s quirky house, each scene change blew my mind and made me feel as though I was watching a movie rather than a 2D play.

Olly Dobson as Marty McFly in Back to the Future the Musical © Sean Ebsworth Barnes
Olly Dobson as Marty McFly in Back to the Future the Musical © Sean Ebsworth Barnes

Overall, Back to the Future was a great watch. It was full of bright lights, great talent and mind-blowing graphics. It is great for the whole family and will certainly leave everyone impressed with all the clever illusions on the stage. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this play and can confirm that it is one of the best graphical plays I have ever seen. Worth watching!

NEED TO KNOW: Back to the Future is playing at the Adelphi Theatre, Strand, Covent Garden WC2R 0NS until 3 July 2022
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