Review: High-energy Sixties musical Hair! on stage at Sheffield Lyceum lets the hippie sun shine in
According to the old adage: “If you remember the ‘60s you really weren’t there.” But there are many in the audience of this 50th anniversary production of Hair! at the Lyceum who might not remember much, but they certainly remember this.
Dated? Yes. But this is no night at the museum. Hailed at the time as a radical counter-culture hippie protest show, it might seem naive and innocent today, but the message of peace and love is a constant.
This is a high energy wow of a production which is a snapshot of a time when theatre censorship was challenged; sexuality liberated and rebellion lauded.
With a cast of 14 and band of five the show raises the theatre’s roof with a high octane rendering of the show’s famous anthems and a finale with enough energy to light up Tudor Square for the next 50 years.
The virtually sung-through musical has a loose narrative which sees one of the tribe conscripted to serve in Vietnam and this is at the core of the protest movement it portrays. But Hair is so much more.
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At the time it took a swipe at the US establishment and its institutions which shocked and antagonised the nation.
But as the first genuine rock musical which created the genre, it really did let the sun shine in.
Hair! is at the Lyceum in Sheffield until Saturday, July 6. Box office: www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
- Review by Alan Powell