An Officer and a Gentleman at Leeds Grand Theatre: Review

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The Review by Panni Loh (Mama Mei’s Mama!) 

From the outset there was an excited buzz in the air as audience assembled to experience the iconic An Officer and a Gentleman made famous by Richard Gere. Audio visuals of anything from Reagan to McDonalds fries fast tracked us back to the 1980s recession and the surge of young blood looking for a better life. ‘Mayo/Zac’ played by Jonny Fines, arrived on a motorbike full of audacity masking a troubled childhood. We were then taken through our paces of his journey to succeed as a naval officer under harsh command of drill Sergeant Foley played by Ray Shell.

The growing feminist movement is expressed by the women in the local packing factory singing James Brown’s classic ‘It’s a man’s world’ which ironically some seek to overcome by marrying a naval officer. Paula played by Halifax-born Emma Williams marks her difference of opinion on this, from her friend Lynette, by initially rebuking Mayo despite his brash confidence in becoming a naval officer. The audience enjoyed the racy interplay between Paula and Mayo heightened by Mayo’s workouts in the naval gym.

Throughout we were kept in the 1980s by familiar tracks such as Blondies classics, sneakers, jeans and sweaters and curly bouffant women’s hairstyles. Emotions were high with childhood traumas revealed and the superficiality of love. Audience were rightly satisfied by a triumphant ending carried by Jonny Fines Playing Mayo and Emma Williams playing Paula. Book a ticket now to get all you hoped for and in the flesh.


Date night with me mama #Reviewing @officermusical @grandtheatrels1 – just the escape/tonic I needed. As tears rolled down my face, I wasn’t sure whether to use my energy to remove said tear discreetly or to stop myself from singing along. ??? A real rollercoaster of emotions as An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical totally engulfed me, I didn’t reach for my drink once (that says a lot from a big swigger like me). And I even forgot to eat my #vegan @northern_bloc #icecream ??? I confess I’ve never watched the film (worst still, I’d not even heard of it) other than knowing the hit song from the movie ‘Up Where We Belong’ (I can’t even write that without singing it in my head). ??? So glad I went… Now to find the film to watch… Full propr review, go to: @panniloh #theatre #review #Leeds #theater #officermusical

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The Official Lowdown

An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 April 2018.

Based on the Oscar-winning film starring Richard Gere, the new musical, written by Douglas Day Stewart, produced by Jamie Wilson and directed by Nikolai Foster, features many 80s classics, including ‘Alone’, ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’, ‘Toy Soldiers’ and the hit song from the movie ‘Up Where We Belong’.

An Officer and a Gentleman is one of the highest grossing films of all time and tells the story of Zack Mayo, a trainee US Navy Pilot who learns the importance of love and friendship when he falls for local girl, Paula Pokrifki, and tragedy befalls his fellow candidate. Zack must find the courage to be himself to truly become an officer and a gentleman.

The world premier will star four-time Laurence Olivier award-nominated actress and Halifax-born, Emma Williams (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Half a Sixpence) as Pokrifiki and Jonny Fines (Annie, Avenue Q) in the iconic role of Zack Mayo; the role made famous by Gere. The show will also feature Ray Shell (Starlight Express, Five Guys Named Moe) as Foley, Olivier-nominated actor Ian Macintosh (Beautiful – The Carole King Musical) as Sid Worley, and BBC 1’s Over The Rainbow finalist, Jessica Daley as Lynette Pomeroy.

An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 April 2018.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £23 (RV) to £48

(prices include a £3 booking fee. Postage charge £1 where applicable)

Book online at or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700


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