Review: ‘Dreamgirls’ @ Bristol Hippodrome ★★★★★

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By Oscar Hunter, Deputy Arts Editor

It is rare, in the world of musical theatre, for a single actor to be a triple threat, let alone for a whole cast to be triple threats. But Dreamgirls at the Bristol Hippodrome performs such a miracle. Every single member of the cast gave it their absolute all for the whole production.

Set in 1960s America, Dreamgirls follows the story of Effy White, Deena Jones, and Lorrell Robinson (known as ‘The Dreamettes’). On their quest to stardom things go awry when Deena replaces Effy as the lead. Effy’s brother writes a comeback song for her, and she begins to compete with ‘The Dreamettes’ in the charts. Eventually, Deena and Effy reconcile, they  rid of Deena’s abusive husband, and Effy joins the girls for their final show.

Every single member of the cast gave an utterly spell-binding performance. All of the jokes landed, nobody missed a beat or failed to hit a note, and the whole production ran as smoothly and soulfully as the wonderful orchestra’s music did!

The set design was simple yet effective, the sound quality was great, and THE COSTUMES - OH MY GOD, the costumes were absolutely stunning! When Effy sings her comeback song (‘One Night Only’) for the first time, the lights go down, and a spotlight shines on her face. When the lights go up, she has changed from a regular outfit to a stunning floor-length sapphire gown, adorned with more sequins than the average Ru Paul’s Drag Race runway!

The real star of the show is the actor who plays Effy - Nicole Raquel Dennis. She has a voice unlike any other. The power of her projection is almost indescribable. She received three standing ovations throughout the musical, and every single one was deserved. When she sings her big breakdown song at the end of Act I (‘And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going’) she sang her heart out, and the audience was brought to tears. Her acting and dancing were also phenomenal, looking gorgeous in every scene.

Dreamgirls is a must-see for absolutely everybody: it is soulful, uplifting and hugely entertaining. The cast and crew all deserve five stars from every media outlet in the country!

Featured Image: Matt Crockett


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