Last Night A DJ Saved My Life at The Liverpool Empire

Posted on 21 January 2016
By Chris High
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The opening number of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life – D-Ream’s Things Can Only Get Better – provided the solution to at least one dilemma …. how to start the review of a show so toe curlingly banal it makes The Rod Stewart Musical: Tonight’s The Night look like a Tony Award winning mega hit, instead of the turkey it actually is.

Okay, so this really shouldn’t come as a surprise but, genuinely, so far I have been more than kind, given some of the truly awful events being unleashed upon a paying audience who may only get to go to the theatre once in a while.

Why so awful? Some of the acting shouldn’t be seen on a school’s stage let alone that belonging to one of the country’s premier venues. Shane Richie Junior’s performance as wannabe DJ Rik is almost painful as is that of Barry Bloxham as steretypical bad guy / cockney gangster, Ebenezer. Although in fairness, neither are given anything to work with that might even moderately resemble a script.

Yet these were almost like Olivier and Gielgud reunited when compared to the stunningly inane, charmless, self- aggrandising, jaw droppingly terrible offering served up by David Hasselhoff. Indeed, so shamefully poor was it – so Pinochioesque in its woodenness – its a miracle the stage didn’t swallow him whole as an adoptive plank. Wait until his character, Ross, starts to trip out or even sing one of the biggest ballads in Rock history and then say he’s got talent with a straight face.

As with all shows, though, there are bits to admire. Tam Ryan’s José brimmed with brilliance and Stephanie Webber certainly knows how to belt out a tune. The recorded musical choices get the audience spasmodically clapping along, the live pieces are consummately played and the set design is quite, well, nice even though a lot more may have been done with it.

Other than this, though, the only other saving graces are that it runs on stage for less than 2 hours, is a morale boost for all aspiring writers – because if this can get put on, surely anything can – and is only at The Empire until Saturday. So, yes, once The Hoff has set off into The Baywatch sunset, things Will Only Get Better at The Empire after all, and sooner rather than later.

Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
The Liverpool Empire Theatre
January 19 – January 23
Director: Jon Conway
Choreographer: Chris Braddock
Cast Includes: David Hasselhoff, Shane Richie Junior, Stephanie Webber, Tam Ryan, Barry Bloxham, Natalie Amanda Gary, Emily Penny
Running Time: 2 hrs 15 mins
PR Rating: ** Hoffal Offal