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Opening night of The Band musical, Grand Opera House, Belfast

I was given the opportunity to go along to the opening night of The Band Musical at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.

I invited my 14 year old son to come along too, and his review follows below mine.

This Tim Firth musical was set in both the early nineties and today, so the fashion, music and technology from ‘back in the day’ was fun to see ….. including the Ceefax pages as we took our seats.

Trying to explain to my son that this was how we looked up information, and yes …. It really was that slow waiting for the next page!

The Grand Opera House in Belfast is a stunning building itself, and a wonderful venue for this musical

Although the backdrop to the story is the boy band, the main storyline was told through the lives of a group of girls who are then reunited to see their favourite band reformed for a reunion tour.  The Take That songs were perfectly chosen to blend in with the storyline.  The band were chosen from the winners of the BBC Let it Shine talent search.

LtoR AJ Bentley, Curtis T Johns, Sario Solomon, Nick Carsberg and Yazdan Qafouri in The Band, credit Matt Crockett.JPG

It certainly took me back to my teens, and the school locker scenes, and my friends back then. Definitely had a few “I wonder where they are now and what are they doing? “ moments while enjoying the show.

LtoR Yazdan Qafouri, Curtis T Johns, Nick Carsberg, AJ Bentley and Sario Solomon in The Band, credit Matt Crockett.JPG

The while the whole cast gave strong vocal performances it was the women who stole the show with their witty banter  and comic timing.

LtoR Rachelle Diedericks, Sarah Kate Howarth, Faye Christall, Lauren Jacobs & Katy Clayton in The Band, credit Matt Crockett.JPG

We shared the highs and lows of their lives along with the music of Take That performed brilliantly by The Band – the costumes and dance routines were more than a nod to the original Take That group.

LtoR Jayne McKenna as Zoe, Rachel Lumberg as Rachel, Emily Joyce as Heather & Alison Fitzjohn as Claire, with Five To Five as The Band in The Band, credit Matt Crockett.JPG

The other incidental characters also brought great humour to the performance ….. watch out for the many appearances of Every Dave under different guises.

There was lots of audience participation, singing along definitely encouraged.

The cast of The Band, credit Matt Crockett.JPG

The fantasticly talented cast brought this heart warming story to life, a must-see, not just for Take That fans.

Overall a very enjoyable performance which was made all more so as I shared the experience with my teen son.

We may have sung Take That songs all the way home!

Thanks to the Grand Opera House for the opportunity to attend, it has definitely given my son the theatre bug and we will be looking at the upcoming programme to find more shows to enjoy together.


My Son’s Review (age 14 and first trip to the Grand Opera House, Belfast)

The Band is an amazing performance that, even as a fourteen year old, could be humorous and emotional. Great witty jokes, conveyed the story well.

The sets were well designed, the song choice was good, and the story itself was fantastic. It kept my attention right to the end.

What is great is that I could relate to some bits, and I didn’t  have to try that hard to either. A quick side note, if you are sensitive to bright flashing lights and loud noises, be warned. Don’t not go because of this, but just be prepared.

Overall, 10/10!

Thanks to the Grand Opera House for the review tickets … all opinions expressed are entirely our own.

Do you plan to see it? It is on in the Grand Opera House, Belfast from 13 – 24 November, you won’t regret it!

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