Surrey Advertiser 9 October 2015


Strong performance in musical based on life of Dean Reed

Comrade Rockstar
Ivy Arts Centre, University of Surrey
Rating: *****

I BELIEVE that while writing for the Surey Advertiser, I have awarded only three fivestar reviews. Comrade Rockstar is a fourth.

Inspired by the life of musician Dean Reed, it is a musical with book and lyrics by Julian Woolford and music by Richard John. It traces the career of an American who accidently became a rock legend behind the Iron Curtain.

'Accidently' is a misleading description. Reed pursued fame wherever he could find it and his ruthless nature was littered with three broken marriages and a family and daughter 'back home' that rarely saw or heard from him.

He was certainly not going to break a tour of Poland to attend the funeral of his father.

The one-night performance at the Ivy Arts Centre (and essentially a revised tryout) on Friday was a concert version of a show that was polished and intriguing.

As a rock musical, it has genuine guts and a score that from time to time tore into the frame. It had softer moments too, with Kim Ismay as Countess Nyta Dover effortlessly changing the pace to a seducive slow.

As a 'musical bio-cum-documentary', it possesses both drama and humour.

Reed was a resistible personality but his story is compelling, with strands of dysfunction, manipulation, East/West politics and fan worship, tightly twisting into an evening that at times teetered on the brink of 'thriller'.

Dean Reed died in East Germany at the age of 47 in 1986. He was vitually unknown in the West but widely mourned throughout the Soviet Bloc.

His death was attributed to suicide, leaving a letter of apology to the East German leader, Eric Honecker.

A cast of 28 was given rousing applause at the end of the show, with many audience members standing.

I loved it and wish the show well.

Jeff Thomson

We would formally like to point out that the articles, reports and contributions are presented independently of their truth content. They do not reflect the opinions of the Dean Reed Website team (see detailed declaration).

Wir weisen ausdrücklich darauf hin, dass wir alle Artikel unabhängig von ihrem Wahrheitsgehalt präsentieren. Sie spiegeln nicht in jedem Fall die Meinung des Dean-Reed-Websiteteams wider (siehe auch die einleitende Erklärung).

Recalcamos expresamente que presentamos los artículos independientemente de su veracidad. No en todos los casos reflejan la opinión del equipo de esta página WEB (léanse las líneas aclaratorias principales).

Fehler, Hinweise etc. bitte an
Letzte Änderung: 2015-10-27