REVIEW: All or Nothing @ The Opera House, Manchester

aon-bournemouth-june-2016-613To Mod fans, Small Faces will be a forever a part of their musical and cultural identity with their classic songs as important trademark parkas and Lambrettas.

And they would not be disappointed with this fantastic and often touching celebration of their music brought to the stage by director Tony McHale.

The story is told from the point of view of a 44-year-old Steve Marriot looking back on those raucous and whirlwind four years in the lives of the young musicians who burst on the scene in the sixties to follow their dreams of making great music, only to enter a world of exploitation ultimately ending in tragedy.

Bringing to life those timeless classics – Whatcha Gonna Do About It, Tin Soldier, Lazy Sunday, Here Comes the Nice, Itchycoo Park and of course All or Nothing – the play successfully strikes a balance between musical celebration and a poignant portrayal of betrayal and tragedy with some amazing performance from a very strong cast.

The stand-out performance is Chris Simmons as the older Steve taking on the role of narrator sliding gradually into booze and drug induced oblivion, reflecting the fate of the tragic singer.

For anyone interested in the music and culture of the sixties this is a must-see show, with references to such musical legends as Sonny and Cher and Dusty Springfield.

Tragedy is a definite theme of the production but I wouldn’t want to give the impression the show is in any way maudlin or depressing. What shines through above all else is the power of that great music and why it should be celebrated.

Runs till Saturday October 22

Dave Toomer


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