Review: Motown at Sunderland Empire

As soon as we saw the giant ‘M’ Motown logo at the front of the Sunderland Empire Theatre, we knew we were in for a treat. Including over 50 classic Motown records, ‘Motown the Musical’  will have you clamouring to jump out of your seat and dance to those old school favourites.

The musical tells the real-life story of Berry Gordy who founded the Motown record label in 1959, telling the story of how the aspirational youngster borrowed $800 from his family to go from being a heavyweight boxer to one of history’s loved music moguls.

Through a live orchestra and the insane musical talents of Edward Baruwa (Berry Gordy), Karis Anderson (Diana Ross), Nathan Lewis (Smokey Robinson) and Shak Gabbidon-Williams (Marvin Gaye.) The story records how Gordy built his label in Detroit throughout the ever-increasing pressure of race relations in the 1960s, enlisting musicians and forming groups such as The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas and of course Diana Ross and the Supremes.

And just in case you weren’t impressed already Berry also launched the career of the Jackson 5 including a very young Michael Jackson.

One thing that will not fail to impress you throughout this musical is the incredible backdrops and computer-generated scenery, taking you in seconds from the recording studio in Detroit to a pirate radio station in Manchester, England.

Coupled with numbers such as ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, ‘I’ll Be There’, ‘Dancing In The Street’, ‘Stop! In The Name Of Love’, ‘My Girl’ and ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ with full dance ensembles, there really is something for everyone.

If there’s one musical you go to see this year we recommend going to see this one. This isn’t just a musical, it’s a musical education and a time in music that everyone should know about.

Make sure you don’t miss out. ‘Motown the Musical’ is at Sunderland Empire Theatre until October 26th and tickets are available here.

Editor Katy Moody: “As soon as the music started, the atmosphere was electric, this isn’t any old musical. This is a show filled with talent, passion and soul and you can tell during every scene that so much love is poured into every performance by the cast. 

Every note and accent was perfectly on point and during a few numbers, I even got goosebumps. It was the most magical evening

There’s also a chance to go up on the stage and sing one of Diana Ross’ most famous numbers. Don’t miss out. This is a performance you have to see!”


SharpLifeReview: Motown at Sunderland Empire

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