REVIEW: The Osmonds: A New Musical at Blackpool Opera House is a fun show offering a great night out for all

The mere mention of The Osmonds brings back particular memories for those of us of a certain age.

By Tony Durkin
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 11:57 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 5:20 pm

In the early 1970s, the brothers attracted massive adulation from female fans comparable at the time to Beatlemania a decade earlier as their songs soared into the charts and they played concerts at venues packed with screaming girls.

Donny Osmond in particular, as a solo performer as well as a member of the five-brother band, was a hero to millions and his poster appeared on bedroom walls galore.

Within a few years, however, the fame had faded, the band had split and their music is rarely heard on radio these days, which is a a shame, as much of it stands up well, certainly as a reminder of the time, and their place in the annals of pop history is thoroughly deserved.

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The cast of The Osmonds musical swapped Crazy Horses for carousel horses as they went along to Blackpool Pleasure Beach head of opening night. Pictured are Alex Lodge as Jay, Jamie Chatterton as Alan, Ryan Anderson as Merrill, Joseph Peacock as Donny and Danny Nattrass as Wayne.

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Jay Osmond delighted to be bringing musical story of The Osmonds to Blackpool O...

Just as deserved is the opportunity for their story to be told in The Osmonds – A New Musical, which is on its world premiere tour and runs at Blackpool Opera House until Saturday.

It’s the story of the rise, fall and rise again of The Osmonds through the eyes of Jay Osmond, who was the drummer in the band and has scripted the show.

It tells the tale of how they rose to fame as youngsters on the Andy Williams TV show in the 60s, the height of their fame in the 70s, how they split, hardly amicably, and their reunion several years later.

Alex Lodge plays Jay Osmond, who, as writer of the show, acts as narrator.

Jay (played by Alex Lodge) is ever-present on stage as narrator, providing insight into the highs and lows of the brothers’ lives.

But while the storyline is interesting – and reveals details even those of us around at the time weren’t aware of – the highlights of the show are the songs, and all the big group numbers, such as Crazy Horses, Let Me In, One Bad Apple and Love Me For A Reason, are featured, as well as hit solo numbers by Donny, youngest brother Jimmy – only featuring as a child – and sister Marie.

Lodge as Jay, Ryan Anderson as Merrill, Jamie Chatterton as Alan, Danny Nattrass as Wayne and Joseph Peacock as Danny all impress vocally, as does Georgia Lennon as Marie and Austin Riley as Little Jimmy.

All also act well, as do Charlie Allen as father George Osmond, their driving force, and Nicola Bryan as mum Olive, and – in fine voice too – Alex Cardall as singing legend Andy Williams.

A scene from the musical

The youngsters playing the junior Osmonds are an absolute delight – and look out in particular for the portrayal of Donny as a five-year-old, played on opening night in Blackpool by Matthias Green.

Director Shaun Kerrison ensures the plot moves quickly and smoothly and it’s great fun. The storytelling is impressive and the musical numbers well-staged – and it’s not just for diehard Osmond fans or those of us of a certain age.

It’s music that lives on and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy a really feel-good night out with The Osmonds.

The Osmonds – A New Musical is at Blackpool Opera House nightly until Saturday, with a matinee also on Saturday. Details from www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk/whats-on