RIP IT UP The 70’s Review

Louis Smith, Melody Thornton, Rachel Stevens and Giovanni Spano came to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal on sunday to Rip It Up The 70’s style.

The third installment of this show now means we have transported back to the fifties, sixties and now the the seventies. Would it Rip It Up or had the show become a bit of a Disco Diva?

Check out our review of last years 60’s show here and when i saw the 50’s version in London for my previous site here

For one day only Newcastle’s Theatre Royal was the scene for the show. A smaller stage meant production and staging was limited and not as large as i had seen for the fifties version at London’s Palladium previously. However with a small live band maybe a large stage wasn’t quite needed for them.

When i have mentioned this show to people a majority who have heard but not seen refer to it as a dance show, however this is a celebration of the music of the era. Louis Smith points out that nobody in the line up is a trained dancer which may be true however with Rachel Stevens and Melody Thornton coming from pop bands they are well schooled in dance choreography/routines.

The show was split over two intervals showcasing different elements. The first focused more on individual songs from different styles of music across the era, and the second a little more on artists that defined the era.

Louis Smith is the constant in the Rip It Up series and obviously enjoys his role within it. Coming from a gymnastic background he is adept to working with lines and choreography in a very different way nevertheless is great to see his ability in dance and he even proves he may have a career as a singer yet. Rachel Stevens i had been looking forward to seeing and wasn’t disappointed. Showing us both her dance and singing ability i however felt she was underused in this production. Melody Thornton previously of the Pussycat Dolls wow’d with her belting voice and was the obvious choice for the soul section of the show.

Now the programme shows Lee Ryan on the front cover with the above stars, and to be honest on watching this i’m not sure what more he could of added, the three more than ably carrying the show themselves especially with Giovanni Spano putting in a solid shift as singer of the band -whom i actually think should be there on par with the others. Spano impressed me as the standout star and unsung hero. Picked not for his long locks which would of been right in place for the era, his voice was purely brilliant, across many songs including Elton John and Bowie amongst many others. He was able to carry the era and made every song he sang his own without imitation.

The problem with the show though or with any era it covers is that there’s so much to choose from i sense someones always going to be missed off that you like. However such is the variety i noticed different parts of the audience participating more dependent on what style they covered at different times. The audience were encouraged to participate, get up and clap and get lost in the music which helped the atmosphere and made you forget it was four o’clock in the afternoon!

Rip It Up the 70’s was as enjoyable as its predecessors and was a great afternoon out for me and no doubt an even better evening for those at the later performance in the evening. With the lack of staging it was left to the cast to bring the presence and the cast did so. Compliments also go out to the accompanying dancers who produced beautiful moments of dance to compliment the singing – so here’s to you also.

Being born in the 80’s i’m certainly looking forward to the next edition of which i sense could be my favourite yet..but i will have to wait until the end of this tour at least! Rip It Up the 70’s is a great night out and as ever a great celebration of another era that helped to define music today!

Running until 6th November grab tickets if you can.

Tickets and Info:

Thanks for reading,


This was a post by Aaron Whittington on behalf of

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