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Colchester: Rhinestone Mondays Review

Yeahhhh Ha….. it’s Monday night so it’s Line Dancing Class night . Rhinestone Mondays is a new musical-play by Joe Graham that had it’s world premiere at Colchester’s Mercury Theatre.

The story essentially follows the lives of the various members of the Dance Class at the Warbleswick Social Club. In actual fact we sadly do not learn much of the majority of the class members with the story revolving around two main themes, the “will they won’t they” love story of dance instructor Annie (Faye Tozer) and reluctant new recruit Tom (Anthony Topham).

The other main story line revolves around bar manager Brian superbly played by Shaun Williamson and his various antics to save the ailing social club while also trying to play an hilarious Cupid to Tom.

The main criticism of the piece is that it struggles with it’s own identity, is it a play with some musical numbers? If so then the musical numbers are too many. Or is it a musical? In which case, the musical numbers do not really link strongly enough to the storyline.

This is a new production, but clearly still needs some work. The opening sees a somewhat sleazy version of Dance the Night Away performed by Anthony Topham that left this reviewer thinking he’d turned up on the wrong night and that this was in fact a Chippendale’s performance.

Lyn Paul turns in some fantastic vocal contributions, which prove why she has been so widely acclaimed in her roles in stage productions that include Blood Brothers but Blood Brothers this is not. Shaun Williamson’s Blue Bayou is another highlight.

A light-weight but satisfying evening for the music but the script needs some tweaking to make it work better to involve the other characters more. It will be interesting to see how Rhinestone Mondays evolves.

It’s fair to say the majority of the audience left having had an enjoyable evening musically, with some nice performances but if there was more meat on the bones of the story it would be have been far more fulfilling.

If you want a fun evening and don’t want to have to think too much you’ll love it.

• Rhinestone Mondays is at The Mercury Theatre, Colchester until Saturday 10th September, 2011.

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