Hayden Carpenter - 19th September 2011
The world premiere of ‘20th Century Boy' hit the New Wolsey and took Ipswich by storm. The story is told from the perspective of Marc Bolan's son (Rolan Bolan) and covers Marc's rise to Stardom with his band T-Rex and his downfall due to drugs. The night I saw the show was poignant, as it was the 34th anniversary of Marc's death on 16th September 1977.
Wendy Cook - 15th September 2011
20th Century Boy tells the story of T-Rex star Marc Bolan, the larger than life character, who lived life in the fast lane and tragically died young, when the car he was a passenger in hit a tree in September 1977.
The production is set in the 1980s, as Marc Bolan's son Rolan Bolan leaves school and sets out on a quest to find out who is father really was and what happened on that fateful night in 1977.
The story is complimented by many of the hits from the Marc Bolan/T Rex back catalogue by some very talented actor/musicians who, in true New Wolsey style bring the stage to life.
Andrew Clarke - 14th September 2011
He loved to boogie - he certainly did Get It On - Marc Bolan was a ‘70s music icon, a self-proclaimed Electric Warrior and now his crazed, warm, heartbreaking story has been writ large on The New Wolsey stage.
The world premiere of this new musical had the audience, laughing, dancing and wiping away a tear during a packed, music-filled evening. What started three years ago in a small London studio as a sort-of tribute show has now been transformed by the New Wolsey's Peter Rowe and director Gary Lloyd into a substantial piece of modern musical theatre.
Michael Gray - 14th September 2011
Rolan Bolan, "sad-eyed son of a legendary superstar" flies to London in search of the father he never knew. Along the way he meets a colourful parade of family, friends, producers and predators, and finds closure of a sort on a pilgrimage to the sycamore shrine.
Gary Lloyd's strikingly staged production successfully recreates the experience, visual and musical, of Marc Bolan in performance. Patrick Connellan's set has 36 TV screens, a scarlet diagonal river, two stairs and a box at the back for the band. There are some superb back projection sequences - the psychedelic wooing of June in her VW, for instance - and imaginative staging, such as the Cosmic Dancer duet. Among the more memorable moments are the head-banging Desdemona, with the blood and sparks only on the screen, alas, and the last encore, with the fans cheering on their feet as if we were still in the 70s.