Home » Features and Interviews » Chicago Blues Brothers: Motown Mission – Preview

Chicago Blues Brothers: Motown Mission – Preview

With Chiacago Blues Brothers currently touring the UK, quite possibly coming to a town near you soon, as well as one night only in London on 4 August, we asked Brian Penn to reminisce about a show that for many people of a certain age is a cult classic.

For a full list of upcoming venues and tickets see https://www.thebluesbrothers.co.uk/

One of the outstanding films of my childhood was the Blues Brothers, directed by John Landis. It had pretty much everything; a dazzling R ‘n’ B soundtrack; cameos from Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and James Brown; and Dan Ackroyd starring alongside the mercurial John Belushi. The regulation shades and pork pie hats soon made their way into a certain teenager’s wardrobe; because they were soooo cool! This irresistible mix of great songs and hilarious set pieces could easily double as a great stage show. And sure enough, David Leland directed the stage version in a hugely successful West End run during the 90s. Since then it has returned in various guises wowing audiences with the same adrenaline fuelled performances.

The latest incarnation, Chicago Blues Brothers: Motown Mission is now touring and coming to London’s Savoy Theatre on 4 August. Whilst the film had some semblance of a plot; Jake and Elwood trying to save their orphanage from closure; it is essentially driven by the music. The film aimed to recreate a 1960s live revue, much like the Stax shows featuring Otis Redding, Sam and Dave and Booker T & the MGs. The stage therefore becomes the perfect home for an authentic live performance. With the set broadened to include the cream of Motown, it stirs up a heady brew of good time soul and gut wrenching blues. I first saw the Blues Brothers in the old Whitehall Theatre; not only did they take the roof off but also at least one of the supporting walls.  They were simply amazing and had everyone dancing in the aisles; I’ve no reason to think the Chicago Blues Brothers will be any different.  The best show in town will only be here for one night; wouldn’t it be a shame if you missed it?

About Brian Penn

Civil Servant. Brian flirted with drama at school but artistic differences forced a painful separation. At least he knows what his motivation is. Now occupying a safe position in the audience he enjoys all kinds of theatre. He was bitten by the theatrical bug after watching a production of Tommy in his teens. Other passions include films, TV and classic rhythm and blues. He also finds time for quizzes, football and squash. A keen sports fan, his enthusiasm crashes to a halt whenever anyone mentions golf. A musical based on the life of Tiger Woods could be his greatest challenge.
Want to receive weekly updates of new reviews, interviews and competitions? Then why not sign up to our newsletter and we'll keep you informed.
Holler Box