Bring It On @ Southbank Centre*

Rating: 4/5
Running until: 22nd January 2022
Production photos by: Helen Maybanks

Based on the film series of the same name, Bring It On tells the tale of friendship, competition and being passionate about your interests through a rip roaring score by Tom Kitt, Amanda Green and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Although the plot takes very obvious turns at times, the fantastic cast and excellent choreography is sure to lift audiences’ spirits this Christmas.

I had previously seen the Southwark Playhouse’s production of Bring It On, which I really enjoyed at the time. And I pleasantly enjoyed this production as well, it’s one that is bundles and bundles of fun. Although Jeff Whitty’s book incorporates nearly every trope of teen movies from the 90’s/early 2000s, the brilliant cast really give everything on the stage that you can’t help but root for them.

Leading the company is Amber Davies who is spectacular as Campbell, our protagonist. Yes, we all know she won Love Island whenever it was, but I really do implore people to not use that as a reason to not give her a chance. I genuinely believe she has incredible star quality. I enjoyed her performance in 9 to 5 and I thought she did a really great job in Bring It On with her excellent vocals and the charisma she brought to the role. Alongside her is Vanessa Fisher as Danielle. Her character doesn’t come into the plot until about halfway through act 1, but it’s an entrance worth waiting for. She is just so illuminating every time she’s on stage, due to her immense stage presence. I thought she was excellent and she was a perfect match to Amber’s Campbell. I also thought Alicia Belgarde and Chloe Pole had excellent scene stealing turns as Eva and Skylar and wish we had more of them in the show.

Having been completely captivated by his choreography in Evita and The Rink, Fabian Aloise really doesn’t disappoint here. The mix of dance and cheerleading really help elevate the piece. The level of technique is truly outstanding and the crowd, myself included, were really blown away by the huge dance sections. Some of the music really shines in this, particularly the opening and closing numbers of both acts. But sometimes the songs felt a bit honed in at times and didn’t feel necessary to the plot. But, it can’t be denied that Lin Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt and Amanda Green have created a couple of earworms in the piece.

Overall, I had a really great time at Bring It On. The choreography and stellar performances are worth the trip to the Southbank Centre for the London run this Christmas. The production will then be touring in 2022. Add it to your list of shows to see for 2022!

Until next time

Categories: On Stage

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