“Dreamgirls” review

Paige Peddie, Natalie Kassanga, Nicole Raquel Dennis – Dreamgirls Tour (photo by Matt Crockett)


Dreamgirls (UK tour). The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham.


Every musical lover’s dream come true… Dreamgirls is FINALLY touring the UK!

Having opened on Broadway way back in 1982, it took a ridiculously long 35 years to reach the West End (probably given a new wind by the award laden movie). A huge success on both sides of the pond it has now hit the road here and it’s LONG overdue.

The story is set in the iconic Motown era of the 60’s & 70’s and it follows the story of all girl group The Dreamettes (later shortened to The Dreams) played by Nicole Raquel Dennis (Effie), Natalie Kassanga (Deena), and Paige Peddie (Lorrell). There are some more than coincidental similarities to other girl groups of that time (one very much in particular) as well as some other characters, but really it could anyone’s story from those golden days in music. As well as the highs, it also shows the lows and some darker sides in the industry, and some huge injustices. 

The cast are sensational, and the vocals are off the scale. I’ve never witnessed a standing ovation DURING a show but there was one here for Nicole after a powerhouse performance of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” (surely the show belter to end all show belters) and it was hugely deserved. An absolute goose pimple moment that is alone worth buying a ticket for.

Another highlight was the hugely emotional “Listen”, performed by Natalie and Nicole in a stunning duet.

A must mention is Brandon Lee Sears in a sensational performance as Jimmy Early – a very James Brown-esque character – who commanded every number he performed. He is both charismatic and electric in equal measure.

The music is fantastic (not a single dud number). The staging is spectacular. There’s glitz, there’s glamour, but above all there’s TALENT. In short – it’s a DREAM of a show.

5 stars (if i could give it 6 stars I would). Do NOT miss this show!


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