REVIEW: Jersey Boys, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, until August 15.

Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys

Oh What A Night indeed. After all the hype, Jersey Boys more than matches expectations on its arrival at Southampton, another great night at a venue on the up and up.

Maybe, just maybe the first half sags just a little from time to time – nothing that couldn’t be rectified by ten minutes’ pruning.

But the second half grows and grows sensationally, buoyed up by a great soundtrack which the boys deliver with effortless class, slipping from narration to song to narration without pausing for breath, a seamless flow, brilliantly staged and authentically choreographed.

The tale is of the rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the creation of a sound and the deluge of hits that followed, all against the internal struggles which split the band – Tommy’s general dodginess, Bob’s ambition and Nick’s desire either to have his own band or go back home.

In the middle is Frankie, ambitious yes, but principled too, digging himself into a million-dollar hole in grateful recognition of the start Tommy gave him.

All four of those Seasons are spiced just right.

Tim Driesen as Frankie Valli, Sam Ferriday as Bob Gaudio, Lewis Griffiths as Nick Massi and Stephen Webb as Tommy Devito are all perfect in the parts.

Maybe the exposition is just a little slow, but the result is certainly clearly-delineated characters – and that’s certainly a price worth paying.

Phil Hewitt

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