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REVIEW: Boogie Nights, Sheffield University Drama Studio

THE 1970s struts shamelessly back in to Sheffield this week as the Splinters Theatre Group bring hit musical Boogie Nights to the University Drama Studio.

Performed exuberantly by a young cast, the story follows a group of '70s teenagers as they grow up to battle love, lust and longing.

Roddy O'Neill (played by James Parkin) can't decide whether he wants to be a rock and roll star, or settle down with girlfriend Debs (Heather Tinker). As he struggles to get a job and cope with his Elvis-obsessed father, Roddy and his friends are taken on a journey of musical and personal discovery.

Like most of the actors, I was born at least seven years after punk-rock had left disco bleeding on the dancefloor, but was able to get a real sense of the music which shaped (and dressed) a generation.

The innovative set and the cast's hyperactive energy levels more than made up for occasional first night nerves and missed cues, as the Sheffield crowd sung and clapped along enthusiastically to a menagerie of hits from the decade that taste forgot.

Co-written by EastEnders star Guy Ritchie, Boogie Nights has been a massive success in theatres across the UK. The pick of the songs was disco anthem I Will Survive, sung powerfully by Heather Tinker, although a hilarious medley of TV theme tunes (with accompanying costume changes) ran it very close.

For those looking for a nostalgia trip, or just an excuse to squeeze in to an old pair of flairs, Boogie Nights is running nightly until October 11, with matinee performances on Friday and Saturday.

What do you think? Add your comments below.

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