Last Updated on 14th September 2021
Back To The Future the musical London reviews – we look at what the critics made of this new production at the Adelphi Theatre, London.
Marty McFly and that famous DeLorean arrived at 88mph at London’s Adelphi Theatre last night in Back To The Future the musical. Book Back To The Future the musical tickets.
Back To The Future the musical features music and lyrics by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard and a book by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, adapted from their screenplay of the 1985 film of the same name.
Back To The Future the musical is directed by John Rando, designed by Tim Hatley, choreographed by Chris Bailey, Musical supervision, vocal and musical arrangements by Nick Finlow, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, lighting consultation by Hugh Vanstone, video design by Finn Ross, sound design by Gareth Owen, illusion design by Chris Fisher, orchestrations by Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, dance arrangements by David Chase, fight director by Maurice Chan, wigs, hair and make-up by Campbell Young and Associates, musical direction by Jim Henson, associate direction by Richard Fitch, associate choreography by Darren Carnall, associate set design by Ross Edwards, and production management by Simon Marlow.
In May 2019, it was announced the show would receive its world premiere at Manchester Opera House in February 2020, ahead of an expected West End transfer to the Adelphi Theatre. The show stars Olly Dobson, playing the role of protagonist Marty McFly, originally portrayed by Michael J. Fox. Tony Award winner Roger Bart plays Emmett “Doc” Brown, originally portrayed by Christopher Lloyd.
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BACK TO THE FUTURE THE MUSICAL CRITICS ROUND UP BELOW
THE GUARDIAN (Arifa Akbar) ✭✭✭
This is a splashy theatre-film mashup, with gravity-defying effects and offbeat gags.
Despite its inventions and its abundant splashiness, it is an odd mishmash of originality and imitation, the DeLorean remaining its biggest star.
DAILY MAIL (Patrick Marmion)✭✭✭✭✭
From Doc to the DeLorean, this blast from the past hits all the right notes.
Back-comb your mullet, snap on your headband and wriggle into your leopard skin leotard. The stage musical of the Eighties’ classic has just screeched into the West End, the tyres of its time-travelling DeLorean leaving six pounds of scorched rubber on The Strand. And there’s really no other way to put it, folks: the show is a blast from the past.
VARIETY (David Benedict)
West End musical is lots of fun despite flaws
Despite its many flaws, not least a merely serviceable score, Tim Hatley’s stunning, multi-dimensional design — thrillingly meshing physical production, lighting, projection, sound and hydraulics — lifts what threatened to be a movie retread into a live entertainment triumph.
THE STAGE (Tim Bano) ✭✭✭
Relentless glee an unceasing spectacle
With its dream of flying cars and happy families, the film offered an optimistic vision for the future. Instead, here we are watching a Back to the Future musical in a pandemic. Still, it’s possible to ignore the fact that dramaturgically, structurally and emotionally this show is a mess when it offers up such relentless glee and unceasing spectacle. When that famous fanfare plays and the DeLorean flies, time does too.
THE TIMES (Clive Davis) ✭✭
Classic stalls like an old DeLorean
In the end, though, it’s like sitting in a musty, 40-year-old DeLorean aBand discovering that the engine keeps stalling. I suspect that if you’re a hardcore fan who knows every line of the film script you’re going to buy a ticket anyway.
EVENING STANDARD (Nick Curtis)
A near-seamless slice of escapist entertainment
Even the time machine’s a triumph in this larky musical version of the 1985 cult movie classic. Visually, the show’s a treat too, with lots of little in-jokes and exuberant swing-style dance routines, including one that’s a flat-out homage to that other 1980s teen classic, Footloose. And let’s be frank: the biggest anxiety was how they’d do the DeLorean, since cars on stage tend to be stationary or ponderous. Happily, the time machine is a triumph of theatrical engineering, instantly recognisable but with an overhaul and an upgrade. Much like the musical itself. Go, enjoy.
THE TELEGRAPH (Dominic Cavendish) ✭✭✭✭✭
Great Scott! This musical based on the Eighties classic shouldn’t work – but it’s magnificent
It’s a feelgood triumph. Is it the most sophisticated musical around? No, but it’s a no less exhilarating all-American entertainment drive-thru than Hamilton. And it so honours the benign ethos of those 80s blockbuster movies, it almost invites further in-roads into the canon. Next stop, ET?