It’s been 50 years since Hair swept audiences away with a musical that portrayed young adults’ attitude towards the Vietnam War in such a lively manner.
Now, half a century later Hair has become a musical favourite, adapted numerous times and even turned into a film. Yet, despite its age, Jonathan O’Boyle’s revival highlights how the topics and sentiments from the hippy-era have not outgrown today’s society.
As the curtains open, you enter this bright, colourful era, as characters start to introduce themselves through a series of bizarre but harmonious songs. With a number of trippy hallucination scenes, Hair seems to take you into another world; one that is chaotic and entertaining.
Paul Wilkins’ portrays the character Claude in an empathetic way that makes you sympathise with his torment between following duty and his personal disagreement with the war. Although this is the stronger storyline, the other characters are not left behind. On the contrary, throughout the songs my eyes continued to shift to Aiesha Pease (Dionne) with her strong stage presence and smooth voice.
This musical is filled with entertainment. Although the narrative breaks up and can be chaotic, there is no moment in Hair in which you’ll feel bored – far from it. It gets the audience involved and has you on the edge of your seat.
To see the ladies in front of me dance along during songs and jump up in the final act, says it all. This is a musical that wants you to become a part of the story and in the words of their own songs ‘open up your heart and let the sun shine in’.