Kay Mellor’s Band of Gold at the Alexandra theatre review

As a fan of the original tv show, which first aired back in March 1995, I was excited to hear that the world stage premier of the hit TV series, Band of Gold, was coming to the Alexandra theatre.

A true to life portrayal of life as a sex worker on the streets of Bradford and Leeds in the 90s, bought to life with an authentically designed set, props and costumes.

With a star studied cast of familiar faces from big TV classics such as Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Eastenders and Holllyoaks, I had high expectations ….and boy I wasn’t disappointed! It had it all and more!

Staring Gaynor Faye, who is well known for her recent role as Megan in Emmerdale and also the daughter of Kay Mellor the writer of the show, leading as Rose.

There are plenty of laughs and the language offsets this brilliantly so be warned, it’s not for the faint hearted or easily offended!

She is top of the pack in this group of headstrong but loveable women, who find themselves drawn into this dark, dangerous and often misunderstood industry.

She is the obvious choice for this formidable character, and as a true northerner herself, is very believable, as were all the cast. I found myself remembering back to the original series and the different characters and how each of them came to life on the stage with even more authenticity, but also humour.

There are plenty of laughs and the language offsets this brilliantly so be warned, it’s not for the faint hearted or easily offended!

The show gives a real insight into what drives people into this industry and the obvious dangers, as was the for the character of Gina, who as someone forced into this life due to spiraling debt problems meets a shocking and sad end, a real ‘who dunnit’, as there are plenty of unsavoury suspects to keep you guessing?

The set was fantastic too, with street lamps and shadowy backgrounds to add a seediness to the atmosphere on stage. The club was the perfect setting with a grubby looking bar selling ‘Meat Raffle’ tickets.

A must see for theatre lovers and anyone of the millions who tuned in on a Sunday evening all those years ago to watch this truly gripping masterpiece made even better for the stage, with stronger story telling and an even stronger message.

You can catch the final two showings at the Alexandra here: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/kay-mellors-band-of-gold/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham/

The show then continues a UK-wide tour, more info here: https://bandofgoldplay.com

Words by Sarah Elizabeth for Grapevine Birmingham

Photos © Ant Robling

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