The Pajama Game



Shaftesbury Theatre

Until Sat Sep 13

  • © Tristram Kenton

    Alexis Owen Hobbs

  • © Tristram Kenton

    Joanna Riding and Michael Xavier

  • © Tristram Kenton

    Joanna Riding

  • © Tristram Kenton

  • © Tristram Kenton

© Tristram Kenton

Alexis Owen Hobbs

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1 of 1 found helpful

I really would not advise paying to see this musical, its probably one of the worst I have seen.

In essence, a poor story line, a random scene in a salsa bar where we are transported from the 1950s to some sort of cabaret club in which one of the male 1950s characters dressed in drag, the lyrics included the cast shouting out "doritos" and then taking turns snorting cocaine (not exactly family friendly and there was a 6 year old in front of me, hopefully unaware of what was happening with the cocaine scene).

Also, slightly misogynistic with scenes of domestic violence and the secretary ending up marrying the man who was prevously trying to kill her, calling her a "hussey", not exactly a good message to send out to younger members of the audience.

Overall our party left feeling disappointed.

Gregg G

This show is absolutely brutal.  If the plethora of white haired audience members was any indication, this is for folks who want to remember what 1930 was all about.  The script is non-existant, there is no character development, the songs are just junk-to-music.  I was shocked.  Please don't waste your money.


Got to admit I was a bit biased about this show having seen an excerpt at West End Live recently and was not that impressed.So it was with some trepidation that I took my seat last night.

Have to say my first impressions were not sustainable in the face of this enthusiastic, rollicking show.  It is, to be honest, a very old fashioned musical. Big song and dance numbers that don’t necessarily add to the narrative (for example the totally pointless but highly enjoyable opening to Act 2) but do engage the audience’s attention and keep the spirit of the play moving.  The story is pretty thin, with the ending coming as no real surprise to anyone whatsoever. 

Some marvelous songs including my two personal favourites “Hey There” and “Hernando’s Hideaway” are performed with true spectacle, particularly “Hey There” which is the first time I’ve ever seen a duet between a man and a Dictaphone. Speaking of men, Michael Xavier has a truly amazing voice, even managing to get above the over-exuberance of the brass section of the orchestra. He is also very easy on the eye and comes across as really likeable guy.  There is plenty of chemistry between him and the leading lady, Joanna Riding, and it is really possible to believe in the romance they play out in front of you, though their difference in height made for some interesting romantic scenes. 

Special mention has to be made of Gary Willmott, at 60 years old he should be sitting with his feet up re-living the glory days but he is treading the boards brilliantly here playing Vernon Hines with every ounce of his body.  Gary has a couple of great songs and completely steals the company picnic scene with a drunken knife throwing act that had the audience rolling in their seats.

Unlike previous reviewers I really lite the cabaret club scene - though was totally confused by the chap in drag - and felt it made really good use of the stage as well as the very impressive choreography that ran all the way through the show, 

OK, lets summarise.A good old fashioned musical that you could take everyone from your maiden aunt to your young nephew to see without worry.


Excellent choeography and amazing dancers. Found the chemistry between the two stars, with almost a decade and a half of age difference, not that great though.