The Osmonds: A New Musical Review

The Osmonds are a band that have spanned a career over decades and won the hearts of generations. But the wholesome family that the world knows and loves has a true story of heartache and sorrows that they are now ready to tell the world about in this brand new musical based on their highs and lows as an entertaining family. Written and created by Jay Osmond, this story is told from his perspective and shines a light on the family and their crazy journey through stardom. 

Currently on tour and hitting their 200th show, The Osmonds: A New Musical has taken to the stage of the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton. I took Max along to see whether this wholesome pop group could impress a new generation (and I think the toe tapping and rapturous applause at the end means they may have a new fan!)


The show is told in a mix of flashbacks and performances through the voice of Jay (played by Alex Lodge) who remains on stage for the majority of the show. He narrates and tells the story in a brilliant, enigmatic way that leaves even the most avid fan of the band feeling like they are learning something new. As the story charts the highs and lows of the family, you learn that even after selling over 100 million records, life isn't easy and things don't go to plan. The clean-cut, bubblegum pop exterior starts to crack and crumble as the looming risk of bankruptcy and uncertainty of their future hangs in the balance of performing. It shows you how despite the smiley exterior, each brother faced their own challenges and pitfalls and the bond as brothers isn't always going to tie them together. 

The story, whilst being about Jay and his tale, also is loosely tied up by an adoring fan (played by Sophie Hirst) who through a series of letters tells the band how they have supported her through even the toughest times. It's an ode to their fans that have been there through thick and thin. One thing I did feel that the story lacked was the opportunity to delve in deeper to some of the brothers challenges. It's a struggle when you are collecting stories from 50 years into one show though and I understand they wanted to include as much as possible to please every fan in the audience. I also felt a tad confused at times with what era/decade we were in throughout the story, so would have loved a year/date to help one of the few audience members that wasn't too sure of the full history of The Osmonds. 

Accompanying Alex to make up the remaining brothers includes Ryan Anderson as Merrill, the pensive musician who's heart remained at home throughout each tour and show; Jamie Chatterton as Alan, who held the family together and led them through their journey; Danny Nattrass as Wayne, the brother who just wanted to make music no matter what; and Tristan Whincup as Donny, who definitely wowwed the audiences both as the character and with his performance on stage. Each of the brothers really embodied their real counterparts and brought personality and attitude to their performances. I have to also commend Georgia Lennon who played Marie, her singing was sublime and she truly fit the role of Marie perfectly. 

Personally, the show stealers though had to be the kids. Each of them brought professionalism and tenacity to their roles. Each young performer had not only ensemble parts to join in with, but also solo acting or singing moments that truly allowed these future stars to shine. I have to give a big nod to Osian Salter, whose performance as young Donny melted the hearts of every audience member. What a bunch of true future stars!

The set is simplistic yet effective, it gives this retro, vintage feel that just makes you want to smile and dance and allows the attention to be left on the story and songs. The soundtrack is full of big hits that the audience know and love (and participate with at times!) and also some of those hidden gems that help move the story along. Ending with a classic jukebox musical mega-mix, this show ticks every box for an Osmonds fan. 

The Osmonds: A New Musical is a show that I see being a big hit. With a huge fanbase, bright and fun setting, and toe tapping, hip swaying songs, it ticks the boxes for a great night out. It's a fun, heartwarming show that shines a spotlight on the wholesome family that the world fell in love with. Whether you are a huge fan, or someone that can barely remember one song, you'll leave with a smile on your face and a song stuck in your head. 

On at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton until 12th November 2022, the show will then continue on a UK tour visiting Dartford, Bradford, and Llandudno with further dates to be announced. For more information follow:

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