Hair (UK Tour)
New Theatre, Oxford
Reviewed by Jade Prince
Seen June 26th, 2019
Slap bang in the middle of the East Village of New York City in 1967, a tribe of hippies want to let the sun shine in despite the ongoing Vietnam War. Inquisitive minds seeking for a way to change the world and redefining authority by uniting the world with music.
The ‘tribe’ was interesting however joining is not something on the agenda here at Ginger in the Theatre. It is sad to say but love did not strike our heart.
I had big hopes for Hair after its sold-out run at The Vaults in London. Having now seen the show, I’m not really sure what people saw.
The music was great and it is definitely something I will be adding to my Spotify playlist however the whole package lacked the oomph a ‘wild, colourful, sexually liberated and free’ show should have possessed.
The only thing I will be raving about is the harmonies throughout. The cast sounded so dreamy on stage, giving me goosebumps many times. The highlight being towards the end of “Let the Sun Shine In”.
Even writing this now, I am so confused as to what happened in the show. Not due to the plot being complicated but simple because there was no plot. The tiniest bit of storyline I could grasp onto with the tips of my fingers was Claude (Paul Wilkins) being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. Apart from that I am still at a loss as to what the plot was. And then to top it off, we had an abrupt ending! I can’t deal with abrupt endings! The whole audience was unsure on whether we were to expect more. There was a strong feeling of disappointment radiating around the auditorium.
From a technical point of view, the sound quality was not great and the music over powered the vocals. This made it really difficult to hear the lyrics resulting in the audience disconnecting from the plot (or what limited plot there was).
To put a positive spin on this review, the set was aesthetically pleasing. It was a lovely touch having the subtle colour change during the ‘trip’ scene at the beginning of act 2. The black light was able to pick up UV colours hidden within set. It was something I wasn’t expecting and also a very cleaver addition to ensure that the actual trip was distinguishable from the already psychedelic reality.
It was a somewhat enjoyable show however I found myself willing the next number on. The dialogue felt unnecessary and did nothing to aid the story. I think I would have preferred just the musical numbers, one after the other.
For more information on the show, tickets and remaining venues on the tour, click here.