"It was fantastic. It made me laugh a lot... The good thing is that there is appeal
for different generations to enjoy"
Ian Hislop (West End Extra)
**** "This deserves to be a smash hit"
"An affectionately satirical look at the British pop scene, this new musical from Mark Burton and Pete
Sinclair (with additional songs and arrangements by Willie Dowling) fairly fizzes with energy – not 'arf! As the
publicity tagline says, the show traces a musical journey “from the Beatles to Britpop and all the B*ll*cks' in between”.
Burton and Sinclair have an impeccable pedigree as TV comedy writers (including Spitting Image, Have I Got News gor You and
Never Mind the Buzzcocks) and here they take full advantage of what are admittedly easy targets for mockery – the fads
and fashions of popular culture..."
"Forrest Gump-like, the innocent Mike [West] stumbles through every music phase from the Sixties to the Nineties,
including Merseybeat, psychedelia, glam rock, punk, synth pop and rave, without being fully aware of what's going on. It won't
ruin the suspense to say that, after four decades of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, he finally realises that it's the music that
counts, not being the Next Big Thing..."
"There are nice parodies of songs by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Queen, the Sex Pistols, the
Smiths and Oasis. The writers have also come up with the great idea of embodying the sensual curves of Mike's Fender Stratocaster
in female form as his fantasy girlfriend Fenda – no wonder he likes to play with his guitar. "
"Much credit should go to director Clive Paget for making the humorous references and visual gags work so well
on stage, where a parade of ludicrous figures flit in and out of the constantly changing musical scene. Louise Belson's
colourful costume designs bring to life the fashion trends of each period, from flower power and androgyny to New Romanticism
Jon-Paul Hevey hits the right note as the likeably naff Mike, while Melissa Lloyd makes a sultry Fenda. Jon
Boydon revels in the preening frontman roles of Zak, Z and Kaz, and Glenn Chapman's chameleon skills give us hilarious versions
of Andy Warhol and Malcolm McLaren amongst others.
Pop pickers, this deserves to be a smash hit."
Neil Dowden (What's On Stage)
|Mike West (Jon-Paul Hevey); Zak Love (Jon Boydon); Druggsy (Keiron Crook). Picture by Colin White
"Pitch-perfect pop parodies"
"During the musical numbers, The Next Big Thing is a treat, with a succession of pitch-perfect
parodies that capture the essence of a huge variety of acts and genres. They range from the Beatles and the Kinks, through
psychedelia, glam-rock and punk, to the manufactured plastic pop of Stock, Aitken and Waterman and the blokeish anthems of
There's a top-notch on-stage band, the vocalists are strong, and at times the pastiche
is almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Why Do You Do the Things You Do Do? could almost be the Beatles in 1963,
while Boy perfectly nails the camp decadence and singalong melody of David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust incarnation."
"Clive Paget directs a lively production that captures period styles with cringe-inducing
Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph)
"Free-flowing and funny"
"It is said a musical is a hit when an audience leaves the venue singing the songs - and
that is certainly true with Mark Burton and Pete Sinclair’s endearing, satirical look at the past 40 years of the British
"Along with Willie Dowling, they have created some truly memorable pastiches of some of the UK’s
greatest artists from the Beatles and Kinks in the sixties, through to the nineties and noughties with rave culture, Oasis
and the Spice Girls. These are brilliantly executed compositions - outstanding are the Madness number Ska Band, the Ziggy
Stardust-era Bowie pastiche Boy and the Oasis spoof You Made it Every Day, which would not have been out of place on the Manc
rockers difficult fourth album."
"the book is free-flowing and funny. There are plenty of music industry in-jokes for those in the know...
particularly the brilliant Sooty, Sweep and Watermain parody"
"Jon Boydon gives a strong performance as three successful narcissistic rock singer... Jon-Paul Hevey
as hero Mike West engages... Melissa Lloyd as his guitar Fender shines with her solo."
Jeremy Austin (The Stage)
|Ridicule is nothing to be scared of for New Romantic, Kaz Amour (Jon Boydon). Picture by Colin White
"one of the most entertaining shows I have seen this year!"
"MUSIC, drama, comedy and relationship… what more can you ask for?"
"The music in the show is fantastic, allowing audiences to experience all-time great tunes with a new twist
Mark Burton and Pete Sinclair have done an outstanding job with the lyrics!
It has been one of the most entertaining shows I have seen this year!
The cast had a difficult task ahead of them as there were numerous characters to be portrayed (over a 40-year
span) and they did a fantastic job!
The plot is simple but the music makes it great. The score, lights and outfits were all terrific, but that's
what musicals are all about…"
Marcela Olivares (Indie London)
"Musical hits a high note... Unusually
for a new musical, this piece by comedy writers Mark Burton and Pete Sinclair hits the highest notes with its songs. There
are delicious pastiches of everyone from the Beatles to Queen to Madness, performed with gusto by a quick-change ensemble.
Fiona Mountford (Evening Standard)
"Spinal Tap Meets The Simpsons"
"JOINT authors Mark Burton and Pete Sinclair's musical revels in the history of Britpop drug-taking... beautifully
parodied in this tune-tastic romp through Britpop complete with onstage band."
|Druggsy (Keiron Crook) and Mike West (Jon-Paul Hevey)
"The coolest musical ever"
Katie Spain (The Big Smoke)
"Very strong musically... May well live up to its title"
**** "The jokes fall thick and fast"
"...A musical for people who don't like musicals"
(What's On In London)
"The audience roared with laughter"
(British Theatre Guide)
"The Next Big Thing is, well, the next big thing"
Xtra Diary (West End Extra)