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REVIEW: Rush, A Joyous Jamaican Journey (UK Tour - Premier) [Theatre, Music, Manchester]

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

The Lowry, Salford

2 February 2023


Rush: A Joyous Jamaican Journey

The ad for this show read:

"RUSH the hit Windrush musical coming to The Lowry, Salford 1-2 February, featuring hits by Bob Marley, Toots and Maytals, Desmond Dekker and more; narrated by comedian John Simmit and featuring the JA Reggae Band."

I really think this did the show a disservice. This is not a musical. No-one on stage is acting.

What it is though, is a musical concert, with a brilliant band, phenomenal singers, an hilarious host and a whole lot of soul!

I had a great time, I really enjoyed it! - but set your expectations: Not a musical.

A Joyous Jamaican Journey? Yes, absolutely it is that! I didn't expect to be up dancing so much, but I was, along with the rest of the audience.

Rush: A Joyous Jamaican journey. Photo credit: Rush Theatre Co

John Simmit is a brilliant host engaging with the audience right from the start. He acts as compere taking us through the colourful story of Reggae music's evolution. And it's not just reggae: along the way we hear of the influences of ska, rock steady, calypso, lovers rock, dancehall and even gospel music.

The DJ is incredible. What energy!

The format can get a tad repetitive after a while, but I found it highly educational and entertaining. The band and singers are wonderful.

This was definitely a different format of show for me. Salford is the first venue on the UK tour and we were encouraged to take photos and video, and share them to social media! You can see some of my videos on my instagram.

Rush: A Joyous Jamaican Journey

The audience were also encouraged to sing and dance right from the start! There was a lovely, warm atmosphere and I found the audience to be fun but considerate. If dancers were blocking someone's view, they moved out to the aisle.

No one was judged for joining in or not, but everyone was considerate of each other and respectful of the performers on stage; there was always quiet during the narrative pieces. If only all audiences behaved like this!

Anyone who enjoys music or history would love this show. I will likely go again when it comes to Edinburgh, but this time I'll be dressed for a party!

[Review first posted on Instagram 7 February 2023]


⭐ REVIEW: Rush, A Joyous Jamaican Journey (UK Tour - Premier) [Theatre, Music, Manchester] ⭐

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Lisa in the Theatre, UK Theatre reviewer, blog, website.

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