Review of “The Who’s” Tommy, on stage and screen

I went to see the Musical (Rock Opera) Tommy on stage at the Belgrade in Coventry last month. The show was great, great songs, combined with good stage direction worked really well. Since then I looked out the original film rock opera to see how it compares. Here’s a review:

“As Musicals go I find they work much better on the stage rather than the screen. This is no exception. I first saw Tommy on a 2005 Musical tour, and the show was great. Good music, great visual effects, real atmosphere. Unfortunately I don’ think it works as well on the screen.

The Music is still there, and this time sung by the original stars ‘The Who’ and Elton John, but some of the visual effects were just bizarre, and the scene changes too quick. It was as if the film was going too fast to follow. The one scene that really got me was when the beans etc. came pouring out of the TV. I guess it was supposed to represent sanity’s breaking point, but it seamed to me as though rolling around in all the gunk was meant to be sexual to the viewer, sexual in the way that mud wrestling is, not really my cup of tea. The pervert was a bit too over the top as well.
I guess it’s artistic license and in some places it works well, but some are just not my taste. Maybe it will work better watching a second time as there is so much to take in at one time, not that I’m in a rush to watch it again, although I can’t get the songs out of my head.

The film itself is OK, but the music really makes it. There are some really good songs in this. If you’re a fan of The Who or Elton John’s music then you should see this. If you get the opportunity to see it on the stage then it’s even better.”

The stage production is still touring into June, see http://www.jonathanwilkes.com/tommy.htm to see if it’s in your area.