Review: 42nd Street @ New Wimbledon Theatre


With enough sparkle to rival the Crown Jewels, 42nd Street had the audience hooked from the very start.


By Hannah Friend & Katie Richardson

With big numbers, impressive staging and enough sparkle to rival the Crown Jewels, 42nd Street had the audience hooked from the very first overture at the New Wimbledon Theatre last night.

From the original 1933 Warner Brothers production featuring only five songs, the musical has come a long way and made its stage debut in 1978 with a tale of a theatre company struggling to make it in America’s 1920s depression.

The ensemble cast were excellent and we could not fault a single move they made. They caught the audience with their energy and from the impeccably executed tap routines to their acting skills, they impressed us beyond measure.

In a mainly female ensemble, the male actors should not be forgotten as their performance of “With Plenty of Money & You” stood out despite the more colourful costumes of the girls.

Mr Marsh, played by Dave Willetts, introduced the story as the stern company director. Despite an occasional accent slip, he played the role beautifully and executed the delicate balance between uncompromising and the more loving side of his character with finesse.

The character of Peggy (Jessica Punch) transformed into the heroine and in the last scenes we found ourselves urging her to do well. Jessica finished the show spectacularly, with the crowd sharing in her utter enjoyment of dancing.

Aside from the flawless choreography, the humour was perfectly executed. The various innuendos and constant references to the pit full of musicians were laugh out loud funny.

Maggie, played by Carol Ball, along with Bert, Graham Hoadly, were undeniably the funniest duo of the night. The range of choreography and vocals added to the overall wow factor of the production.

Photo courtesy of Craig Sugden – The original 84 cast at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

“Lullaby of Broadway” in the second act was set in a train station, with a realistic painted backdrop and red steel stairs used creatively by the whole cast. It was an impressive performance in which the stars showed off their voices as well as their tap moves.

The gold sequined finale on an illuminated staircase was a show stopping way to end the night. The choreographer, Graeme Henderson, and musical supervisor, Gareth Williams, should be proud of the perfectly synthesised steps and music which were not only impressive on their own but complemented each other throughout.

Amongst the crowd was Wallington’s Womens’ Guild who had a fantastic time. One member said the show was on par with one she had seen when it was first performed in the West End. It is certainly not hard to believe.

Don’t miss out on the chance to catch this superb show. 42nd Street is showing at the New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday 15 September. For information and tickets visit:

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