Review: Show Boat at Sheffield Crucible Theatre tugs at the heart-strings

Show Boat’s ‘Cotton Blossom’ has docked at Sheffield’s Crucible for its Christmas show.

By Marisa Cashill
Thursday, 17th December 2015, 2:42 pm

The stage is transformed into the Mississippi river show boat of the early 1900s.

Show Boat is not your typical musical based on trivialities and humour. It doesn’t have chorus lines of synchronised tap dancers. It doesn’t have bright lights and glamour.

In contrast, it has something that sets it worlds apart. It has a true gritty and emotional storyline, one of racial hatred in the American South, and one of true relationships with love triumphing against the odds.

These deep tales are told very descriptively in the music, perfectly crafted by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II. Songs like ‘Ol’ Man River’ and ‘Can’t Help Lovin Dat Man’ moved the audience to tears.

A spine-tingling version of ‘Ol’ Man River by Emmanuel Kojo cast as Joe, Rebecca Treherne’s performance of the song ‘Bill’ in her role as Rebecca and Michael Xavier’s lovable rogue Gaylord are the highlights of an enjoyable show.

Show Boat is running until January 23.

This theatre production is packed full of talent. A spine tingling version of ‘Ol’ Man River’ from Joe, played by Emmanuel Kojo about getting the strength to carry on, in spite of what has happened. A powerful performance of ‘Bill’ from Julie played by Rebecca Treherne, who is thinking of her husband who abandoned her as she sings lyrics of eternal love. And a lovable rogue, Gaylord, played by Michael Xavier was high up there for me, he didn’t hold back on the songs and I didn’t hold back on the tears. ‘You Are Love’ was performed with a different message each time he sang it.

I can’t think of anything more enjoyable than going to see this over the next few weeks, with X Factor over and Panto season in full swing this is a great contrast in entertainment. It runs until January 23rd 2016 and tickets are still available.