Review:The Band is a hit show from the very first scene

Let It Shine winners AJ Bentley, Curtis T Johns, Sario Solomon, Nick Carsberg and Yazdan Qafouri in The Band
Let It Shine winners AJ Bentley, Curtis T Johns, Sario Solomon, Nick Carsberg and Yazdan Qafouri in The Band

This sparkling, funny and tear-jerking story of four teenagers obsessed with a pop group and how it affects their lives absolutely grabbed me from the first scene for a rollercoaster ride of emotion.

The Band is unlike musicals featuring the songs of a band, in this case Take That, as it doesn’t tell their story, but concentrates on the fans.

Nineties teenager Rachel (Faye Christall) bounces on stage, showing how in her imagination the band are part of her life. They appear from her bedroom furniture or school lockers to sing the songs that she loves and to help her cope with troubles.

She and her friends rush off to watch their heroes in concert but tragedy occurs on the way home and bubbly Debbie (Rachelle Diedericks) is killed.

The trauma splits the group apart until adult Rachel (Rachel Lumberg) decides to stage a reunion in Prague, where the band are playing.

The show is bright, lively and full of fun but also shows how those intense teenage friendships can still be important later on.

It’s a lovely show that the entire cast and creative team work so hard to bring together. The five Let It Shine winners, re-creating Take That performances and playing incidental characters, do a great job.

The Band is at Sheffield Lyceum until Saturday, October 20.