THEATRE REVIEW - 20th Century Boy

20th Century Boy at The Opera House, Manchester
20th Century Boy at The Opera House, Manchester
Share this article

HE rode a white swan and achieved musical immortality. Alas, the glittery-eyed Marc Bolan died in a motor accident just a couple of weeks before his 30th birthday.

His swan song you might say.

20th Century Boy is a double helping of entertainment, featuring the pouty-lipped singer’s life story and his music. It works wonderfully well and his now grey-haired fans turned out in force.

The theatre audience became a hypnotic haze as the Bolan-lovers donned feather boas in several hues, pink being predominant.

It’s good to report that this wasn’t just a backward glance at a tragic pop singer. The story had many elements of fascination and the man’s music retaining its memorable streaks.

I’m not and never have been a T-Rex fan.

Well not until the curtain came down on this amazing show. It’s true he had a unique talent. And not just for pouting.

This dandy of the pop world always yearned to be “bigger than Elvis.” And today, despite the passing of decades, Bolan and T-Rex’s music remains alive.

The show “blurb” said that Marc still has the power to attract young fans. Has he? I saw a whole theatre packed with fans who will never see 60 again. It didn’t matter a jot.

The theme of the show, in addition to all the famous hits, was the singer’s son, born out of wedlock who went on a journey to find out what Dad was really like.

As Marc, Warren Sollars was never less than magnificent. Totally within the skin of the character and the audience took to him from the first number. As the singer’s son, Luke Bailey, acted well, and Gloria Jones, as Marc’s lover who was at the wheel of the death-crash car added quality and glamour.

Former Brookside and Street actress Sue Jenkins as the still grieving pop added many emotional touches.

20th Century Boy was a big show in every sense of the words, bursting with energy and pink feather boas. An absolute treat.

At the Opera House, Manchester, until Saturday, April 26th.