Review: The Magic of Motown at the Regent Theatre, Ipswich

The Magic of Motown

The Magic of Motown - Credit: Archant

By virtue of its title, The Magic of Motown sets the bar pretty high.

A Night of Motown, or simply Motown, would have been just as efficient in plucking the large and enthusiastic pockets of the genre’s devotees to the Ipswich Regent on Saturday night.

But, without question, it was a bar over which the show sailed.

You cannot get Motown without magic, so the theory goes. The two are inextricably linked, and the riveting performance which hooked even the most reticent of spectators on to their feet, reaching out to the stage as though summoned by an evangelical spirit, provided further credence to that compelling argument.

It was all flamboyant colour and soulful classics, vintage dance moves, bright lights and live music, performed by a well-seasoned cast apparently immune to the dangers of disillusionment. Their unwavering love for Motown was plain to see. It was honest and persuasive.

They shifted through the gears and brought out all our favourites. The Temptations. Stevie Wonder. The Supremes. Lionel Richie. Even The Jackson 5 were revived, replete with a young Michael Jackson doppelganger who treated us to an excellent moonwalk.

The revolving cast of four men and three women worked well. The men even delved in some a-capella.

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A minor criticism would be that the zenith of the exuberance was experienced at the end of the first act, not during the encore, with The Four Tops’ Reach Out I’ll Be There misplaced.

It could also be argued a real knock-out blow to send us into uncontrollable raptures never quite transpired.

But overall the show delivered on its promise. Indeed, Ipswich did have a magical night of Motown on Saturday.