THE CHER SHOW | London, New Wimbledon Theatre

Despite winning two Tony awards, The Cher Show (2018) was a flop on Broadway. Skipping the West End entirely, a completely redesigned touring production is now delighting fans all over the UK.

The aim to cover five decades of Cher’s life in music, TV, film, and love, is quite an undertaking, which is why three actresses “share” (pun intended) the title role (Debbie Kurup; Danielle Steers; Millie O’Connell). But why did they cut “Walking in Memphis”? Luckily, the book by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) is whipsmart, and strongest in its most tongue in cheek moments. No sooner has Cher said, “If only I could turn back time. Oh, wait; I can,” than we’re off to a scene of her slowly riding a child’s bike.

But given the icon is known for her costumes and sense of Las Vegas lavishness, could we not have had a bit more spectacle? The obligatory finale megamix tribute-act-cum-curtain-call brings us the first and only set change in the entire production. Otherwise, the grey prestate racks of clothes and wigs remains Cher’s only backdrop.

Fortunately, the entire cast are outstanding, including a nuanced portrayal of megalomaniac Sonny (Lucas Rush). The Chers border on caricature at times, but the story of the legendary diva’s resilience is told with truth. More could be done to showcase the (small) live band, as brass and strings are prerecorded, karaoke style. Unlike Cher, this is a packs-flat-plays-big production, but you’ll still be on your feet by the end.

The Cher Show is touring the UK, 15 April 2022 – 11 March 2023.

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