An exuberant, award-winning 50th anniversary production of Hair the Musical has embarked on a nationwide tour, treating local audiences to a stint at Sunderland Empire from 6-11 May 2019. The iconic tribal rock musical still has tickets available across all dates, so join the tribe and relive the summer of love by booking here. Keen to experience its Grammy award-winning score, we went along to the press night.

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Set on a colourful, captivating stage, audiences are transported to 1967 New York, known as the ‘Age of Aquarius’ where HAIR’s hippie ‘tribe' youngsters in the East Village are yearning to change the world. Wild, colourful, sexually liberated and free, they are united in protest and song, under the shadow of the Vietnam War. Despite the musical’s historical setting, it was clear to see director Jonathan O’Boyle’s nod to current events by integrating an opening montage of recorded voices which included both Donald Trump and Barack Obama.

TV favourite Jake Quickenden (X Factor, I’m a Celebrity, Dancing on Ice) quickly entranced the audience as Berger, following the opening number, ‘The Age of Aquarius’ which included some well received interaction with the eager crowd. The heart-throb maintained a strong presence as the reckless hippy throughout, dominating the stage. Choreography reflected the free and rebellious personalities of each of the characters who are celebrating their affirmation of life, freedom and equality.

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Hair’s magic is heavily reliant on its musical numbers rather than its storyline or ability to create an emotional connection with its characters, but laughs were had during Tom Bales’ witty performance as Margaret Mead. The show didn’t really come into its own until act two, but well known hits such as ‘Aquarius’, ‘Let the Sun Shine In’, ‘I Got Life’ and ‘Good Morning Starshine’ were all crowd favourites due to their incredibly infectious nature and the electrifying rich harmonies they offered.

If you aren’t available to see Hair on this occasion, then there are plenty of other productions on the way to Sunderland Empire that are bound to tickle your fancy. Whether you want to reignite your passion for a family favourite such as the world’s most loved musical Grease or wish to see what the buzz is about surrounding the hit musical comedy, The Book of Mormon, Sunderland Empire is welcoming some unmissable shows in 2019. You can browse and book upcoming shows at Sunderland Empire here.

Free press tickets were received for this review. All opinions our own.

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