Bang a gong and have a boogie at the Belgrade for Marc Bolan story

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So I may be a little biased here in reviewing 20th Century Boy, which is running at the Belgrade Theatre, and tells of the life of Marc Bolan (George Maguire).

It is told through the eyes of his close family and friends. It starts with his son, Rolan Bolan (Craig Storrod) who wants to learn more about his father’s death, and his mother Gloria Jones (Donna Hines) is reluctant to tell him the full story, so he jumps on a jet from LA to London to find out more (it would have been cheaper to look at Wiki!)

Rolan meets his grandmother, who has not seen him since he was a baby boy, who was two years old when his dad died, and she resolutely does not want to speak to his mother who she obviously blames for his death.

The show covers Marc’s early years, but concentrates on his Tyrannosaurus Rex / T.Rex days, through his marriage to June Child (Lucy Sinclair – great voice), and to his eventual meeting with Gloria Jones.

It finishes with Rolan finding out more about his dad from family and friends, and reconciliation of his mother with his grandmother in front of the tree that killed their loved one.

The show is peppered throughout with all the well-known songs, and some of the lesser known ones too, and the musical performance is excellent – I even thought the first number was being mimed it was so good! I do feel that some of the dialogue was a little drab though, and whilst it needed to show how self centred, and single minded Marc Bolan was, which led to his waning of stardom in the last couple of years, it didn’t also show the real fun times that he must have had too. That aside, it was a fascinating couple of hours, and George Maguire was quite amazing in the lead role – he has obviously watched a lot of old videos as his mannerisms were spot on, as were his vocals. He was ably supported by a good cast and the band were brilliant. It could be seen as a T.Rex tribute act alone, with a bit of history in between, but who cares!

After the final bows by the cast, we were treated to a finale with all the major T.Rex songs that had people standing, clapping and dancing in the aisles which was great fun!

So, if you were a fan, and even if you weren’t, dust off your velvet suit, frilly shirt and platform shoes, put on some glitter under your eyes and get along to The Belgrade to enjoy the show!

Telephone The Belgrade on 024 7655 3055

Paul Ingram