Review: An Officer And A Gentleman

Written by on April 30, 2024

Review: An Officer And A Gentleman

30-04-24: Manchester Opera House by Tiffany Chevis

Filled with 80s classics and a scene that’s been recreated in Friends, The Simpsons, and undoubtedly inspired many romantic gestures, An Officer and a Gentleman is iconic whether or not you’ve seen the original movie.
Based on the screenplay by – and loosely the experiences of – Douglas Day Stewart, it’s a story of determination, destruction, but ultimately, hope.

Georgia Lennon as Paula Pokrifki & Luke Baker as Zack Mayo in An Officer and a Gentleman, credit Marc Brenner



Two naval officer recruits, Zack Mayo (Luke Baker) and Sid Worley (Paul French) couldn’t come from more different backgrounds, and yet in the trials of officer training under the steely eye of Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley (Jamal Kane Crawford), they form a camaraderie to support each other on the journey. When they fall for the wiles of Paula Pokrifki (Georgia Lennon) and Lynette Pomeroy (Julia Jones in this performance), it seems there is nothing they can’t achieve. But the path to success isn’t without its sacrifices.

The cast of An Officer and a Gentleman, credit Marc Brenner

Michael Taylor’s set and Ben Cracknell’s lighting designs make clever use of levels and neon lights to form the locations, adding dimensions to the training scenes and dance numbers, choreographed by Joanna Goodwin. Incorporating the headiness of youth with the stringent discipline of naval training gave scenes like when the Going Gets Tough and The Final Countdown a clever edge.
Standout vocals have to go to Baker and French, with Family Man stealing the second act for power, emotion, and impact. Baker also stood out in an act one duet of Blaze of Glory with Tim Rogers, playing his father Byron Mayo. From the bar karaoke Livin’ on a Prayer, to the feminist anthem I Am Woman performed by Melanie Masson as Esther Pokrifki and the other warehouse girls, there are plenty of hits to get your feet tapping.

Front LtoR Sinead Long as Lynette Pomeroy & Georgia Lennon as Paula Pokrifki in An Officer and a Gentleman, credit Marc Brenner

Under Nikolai Foster’s direction, this production is vibrant and filled with nostalgia, coming into its own in the second half, where the depth of emotion becomes more developed and the characters hit their stride. Whether you’re a fan of the film, the music, or a story of beating the odds, you’ll be where you belong in the audience.

Get your tickets for An Officer and A Gentleman the musical from the official site HERE

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