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Review: Dreamgirls – Sunderland Empire 

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Review: Dreamgirls – Sunderland Empire 


The west end smash hit show Dreamgirls is in town and proves you can’t kill anyone with soul. 

Dreamgirls had its critically acclaimed West End première in December 2016 at London’s Savoy Theatre, 35 years on from opening on Broadway and is now wowing audiences across the UK. 

Meet the Dreams – Effie, Lorrell and Deena – three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s, a revolutionary time in American music history. Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.

This was a show full of big voices and big performances. None less than Nicole Raquel Dennis who produced a vocal range that reverberated through the theatre and sent a shiver down my spine. A show stopping performance end to the first interval was deserved of a standing ovation on its own for Racquels passionate deliverance of the song ‘And I am telling you’, and a great version of ‘I am changing’ just go onto prove what a talent she is. Dennis was a strong lead and commanded her scenes throughout. 

Natalie Liburd also get praise for her role as Deena Jones. Lead singer of the band, she shines and has her moments in the spotlight especially in song ‘Listen’.  I particularly liked the way her character developed through the show too. 

Brandon Lee Sears was entertaining as Jimmy Early. Watching this once famous singer, we see his gradual decline in show business but keen to keep going. As he says ‘you can’t kill a man with soul’, and his performance showed he had plenty of that!

Staging was simple but effective, lighting used effectively and positioning was key. I particularly like the scenes where we would transition from a performance front stage to a discussion backstage in the same moment. 

This was an entertaining show, a great night out and some of the best vocals i’ve heard in a while. Luckily for us, it’s not just one night only and that there’s a whole another week to see this show! 

DREAMGIRLS will be at the Sunderland Empire from Wednesday 23 February 2022 – Saturday 5 March 2022. Tickets priced from just £13* are available from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 7615* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/sunderland*

*A £3.65 transaction fee applies to telephone and online bookings. Calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your standard network charge.

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