Previewed 7 May 2008, Opened 21 May 2008, Closed 15 November 2008 at the Savoy Theatre in London
The brand new British feel-good musical Never Forget in London about love, friendship, ambition and betrayal and based on the songs of Take That.
Never Forget features an original story written by Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless, Clocking Off and Sorted), and the sensational songs of the multi award-winning Take That - promising that this feel-good musical will be one you'll Never Forget!
Set in Manchester, Never Forget the Musical is a fictional story about a Take That tribute band and follows the rollercoaster journey of our young hero 'Ash' and his best mates in the pursuit of their dreams. Along the way, each of them discovers that pretending to be someone else can sometimes help you discover who you really are. This spectacular, wildly funny show of love, life and laughs is packed with all your favourite songs from Take That, including the Number One hits Relight My Fire, Pray, Back For Good, Babe and of course, Never Forget.
Never Forget the Musical, which comes to London following a successful UK regional tour, promises to be a spectacular show - boasting technology never before seen on the London West End stage. The show features a moving curtain of rain, which floods the entire width of the stage and a 10-foot high, 28-foot wide wall of fire! Over 100,000 people flocked to see Never Forget on it's regional tour - now London will get the opportunity when it arrives at The Savoy Theatre from 7 May 2008.
The cast for Never Forget in London features Dean Chisnall as 'Ash Sherwood', Craige Els as 'Jake Turner', Tim Driesen as 'Adrian Banks', Eaton James as 'Dirty Harry' and Stephane Anelli as 'Jose Reize' along with Sophia Ragavelas as 'Chloe Turner', Annie Borrowman as 'Joanne Farrell', Teddy Kempner as 'Ron Freeman' and Marilyn Cutts as 'Babs Sherwood'. Music and lyrics by Gary Barlow with book by Danny Brocklehurst, Guy Jones and Ed Curtis. Directed by Ed Curtis with choreography by Karen Bruce, set by Bob Bailey, costumes by Christopher Woods, lighting by James Whiteside and sound by Richard Brooker. Eaton James' West End credits include the musical Pageant at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2000.
"It may be aimed at thirty-something mums and their indoctrinated daughters, and it may be about as sophisticated as a vodka and Red Bull, but it's also stonkingly entertaining. Threading together songs from the Take That back catalogue, it's about Ash, a young Mancunian 'discovered' by a foxy lady from a record company after singing in a pub with a Take That tribute band. The rest of the band includes a lanky, leery ladies' man, a hunky strippogram, a camp, mother-fixated Spaniard and a token wimp bank-clerk. You may guess who's who. It's Ash, though, who is the Gary Barlow-impersonating main attraction. He's engaged to a sweet, cuddly girl next door who's strongly endorsed by his mother. Not only must Ash stay true to his fiancee and raise money to save his mum's pub, he must also brave an onslaught from the leggy, Wonderbra-enhanced record executive who has the morals of a sewer rat. Just as in any good pantomime, girls in the audience shriek and hiss when said minx struts her D-cups. But what really stokes mob rule is, of course, the music, as well as the tendency of the band to strip down to their skimpy briefs. Yes, the pleasures of this show are very simple and it will doubtless solicit a large gay following, too. But the effect on the audience is riotous. Technically, it's not a singalong, but you might as well ask football hooligans to pipe down at a cup final as try to stem the tide of oestrogen at the Savoy Theatre... Credit must go to Ed Curtis's production, which is a sensational feat of extravagant kitsch. He milks the script, the music and staging for every gratuitous gag, lewd move and eye-catching effect... Tongue is always wedged firmly in cheek, but the whole company take it just seriously enough, creating a show which you'll fall in love with in less than a minute." The Mail on Sunday
"The story line is a dismal disappointment, given that the writer is Danny Brocklehurst, of Shameless and Clocking Off. The jokes about how mobile phones used to be quite big aren't just tired, they're exhausted, and much of the humour seems to be aimed at 10-year-olds who weren't even born when Take That split up. All very confusing... The best thing here is the dancing. The choreographer, Karen Bruce, has done a great job parodying the ludicrous repertoire of boyband moves, and the boys certainly dance their socks off. Yet along with a rubbish story, there's a cluttered and oppressive set, a Manchester setting that is bolted on, then unused... Surely there must be a tongue in a cheek somewhere? But no, I'm afraid there isn't. Fans will love it. Non-fans won't. And that's that." The Sunday Times
Take That's songs have been officially licensed by the record label EMI for use by the producers of this musical stage show. Former Take That manager Nigel Martin Smith said: "I thought the show was fabulous. It was so theatrical, just like the boys always where. It captured what Take That was all about - it was about having fun."
The co-producer of Never Forget, Tristan Baker, said: "We are the biggest fans of Take That's music and we are so excited about the wonderful opportunity to create a new musical based on the fantastic catalogue of their work. We look forward to creating a legacy with these well-loved songs in the way that shows such as Mamma Mia has done before." Co-producer Bronia Buchanan added that: "We are creating a spectacle which will appeal to both Take That fans and musical theatregoers alike."
Never Forget in LOndon at the Savoy Theatre previewed from 7 May 2008, opened on 21 May 2008 and closed on 15 November 2008.