One Family. One Hundred Million Records.
Decades before the boy band explosion of the 90s was The Osmonds, a clean-cut, all American family of musicians who grew up on the television. From their star residency on The Andy Williams Show to the arrival of Donny and Marie, The Osmonds lived a remarkable life recording chart topping albums, selling out vast arena concerts and making record breaking TV shows – until one bad decision cost them everything.
Directed and co-written by Shaun Kerrison, written by Jay Osmond, the story of The Osmonds is told through the eyes of Jay in a series of flashbacks from their beginnings as a group under the watchful eye of their military father, the success of Merrill (Ryan Anderson), Alan (Jamie Chatterton), Jay (Alex Lodge), Wayne (Danny Natrass) and Donny (Tristan Whincup) as a band, sister Marie (Georgia Lennon) and little brother Jimmy (Samuel Routley), their meteoric rise to fame and subsequent fall, and the trials and heartbreak that accompany being a member of one of the biggest musical names of all time.
Of course, the main incentive for seeing the show is the music, and this is delivered in spades. All the performers are accomplished vocalists, and we were treated to a plethora of Osmond hits including Love Me For A Reason, One Bad Apple, Puppy Love and Crazy Horses, all done in perfect harmony with choreography that had many of the audience members joining in. A massive shoutout to the young group of actors throughout who represented The Osmonds as children: Donny (Herbie Byers), Jayden Harris (Alan), Austin Redwood (Wayne), Dextor Seaton (Merrill) and Miles Redwood (Jay) who performed Side by Side in note-perfect multiple harmonies without missing a beat, and Austin Riley as Jimmy who delighted the audience with ‘Long Haired Lover from Liverpool.’
The set was simple with sliding stair panels and the bright colours and costumes perfectly set the tone of the decades in which they represented. There were a few minor issues with sound levels – understandably difficult in the periods where the music is punctuated with narration – but some of it felt incredibly quiet.
We also see a perspective of what the Osmonds meant to their fans through the eyes of ‘Wendy, from Manchester… your number one fan’ (Sophie Hirst) and, as we discover later, how much the fans mean to them. And it was clear from the reaction of the audience at The Alexandra Theatre that over 50 years later, the music of The Osmonds still has the ability to have everybody rocking along – during the rendition of ‘Puppy Love’ there were women screaming with delight as if it were Donny Osmond himself on stage.
It’s a long show, but if you’re a fan of The Osmonds you won’t be disappointed.
The Osmonds will be on stage from Tuesday 25th October – Saturday 29th October. Purchase your tickets here!