Rock of Ages – Leeds Grand

THE ROCK of Ages movie was entertaining enough but the stage version is very different – and much better.

The real home for this story of rock stars, old rock stars and wannabe rock stars in 1980s Los Angeles is in the theatre, since 1980s Los Angeles rock stars were as theatrical as they come.

Around 30 hits by the real-life rockers of the era are crammed into this foot-stomping, hand-clapping, arm-waving feelgood extravaganza.

Many of them mesh neatly with the story and characters, pushing the action forward, others are there simply because they’re great songs.

The story is simple: boy who wants to be a rock star meets girl who wants to be an actress, they fall in love, they fall out, they fall back in love.

They meet while working in the Bourbon Club, a rock venue that’s seen better days, but their individual stories take in a record studio and a strip joint.

Along the way they meet larger-than-life characters from the music scene – this is an ensemble show – and progress through thus dozens of songs – some romantic, some powerful, some raunchy.

It’s all great fun, with a terrific cast – while Antony Costa and Kevin Kennedy feature, the standouts for me were Adam Strong, Jodie Steele, Zoe Birkett and Rhiannon Chesterman for the fantastic voices and Spiky characterisation.

*Leeds Grand, until Saturday. Visit or call 0844 848 2700 to book tickets.