Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations
Rating: ★★★★
Venue: Prince Edward Theatre, London
Cast: Cameron Bernard Jones, Kyle Cox, Sifiso Mazibuko, Tosh Wanogho-Maud and Mitchell Zhangazha 

AIN’T TOO PROUD is the exhilarating new musical following the remarkable journey of THE TEMPTATIONS from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

TONY Award-winning choreography and Grammy Award-winning music tell a thrilling story of brotherhood, loyalty and betrayal set to the beat of the group’s most treasured hits, including My Girl, Just My Imagination, Get Ready, Papa Was a Rolling Stone and so many more.

Jukebox musicals seem to be taking the West End by storm currently, and the most recent one to take to the London stage is Ain't Too Proud. Ain't Too Proud follows the life of the legendary band, The Temptations. Whether you're an avid fan of their music, or simply know a few songs, you'll fall in love with this high energy, fast-paced show.

Otis (Mazibuko) is our narrator and loosely directs the story to ensure the audience knows where and when everything is taking place. The audience get an in depth look into how The Temptations first started out, right up until their current situation; still as the leading group of Motown. It's a fascinating insight on how they rapidly rose to stardom and the troubling effects that came with it.

There are some harrowing moments throughout the show which make for a difficult watch at times. If you struggle with triggers of substance abuse or domestic violence, it's worth entering this show with caution. However, it's mostly entertaining and kept light-hearted. 

One issue I did have was that the production felt slightly too long at almost 3 hours. There were some parts that could have easily been removed and little affect would have been had on the storytelling. 

It goes without saying that the music was outstanding. While all the cast were simply sensational, special mentions must go to Zhangazha (Hendricks) and Tosh Wanogho-Maud (Ruffin) whose voices were so mesmerising, it felt almost impossible to be true. How Zhangazha can hit the notes he does simply flawed me. Mazibuko was certainly the heart of the show and you truly felt he was the glue over the years keeping the band in place.

Standout performances for me were, Get Ready, Papa Was a Rolling Stone and Just My Imagination. However, each song felt pivotal to the storytelling and brought something different to the production. One thing I loved was from the opening notes of some of the more iconic numbers, you could feel the anticipation rippling through the sold out audience. This helped to make the atmosphere feel electric.

You'd think the songs would be the star of the show, but the choreography is just as breath-taking as both the music and the singing. Sergio Trujillo won a Tony for his choreography in the Broadway version of the show, and once you've witnessed it, it's not difficult to see why. It's crisp, clean and a visual feast.

Pair this cast with award winning choreography, Grammy award winning music, and swoon-worthy costumes - and you've got yourself one hell of a jukebox musical. The sets and the lighting were both fantastic. However, as someone with disabilities, it did feel quite overwhelming at times, which I thought I'd highlight to anyone else that may have sensory issues.

Besides it being a little lengthy for my liking, there is little at fault with this musical. It's upbeat, high energy and the talent on the stage is overflowing. Like most jukebox musicals, you'd need to have some kind of interest in the band to truly get the most from the performance, but it's undoubtedly brilliant - and I hope it has a place in the West End for the foreseeable future. 

You can buy tickets to see Ain't Too Proud at the Prince Edward Theatre, here.

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