Turn & Face The Strange : The Story of Mick Ronson

“Deeply personal storytelling set to a sublime soundtrack”

Billed as a hit multi-media show, Turn and Face the Strange promises an award- winning theatre production celebrating the life of Hull rock legend, Mick Ronson.

Narrators Garry Burnett and Rupert Creed chronicle Mick’s life, from humble beginnings to stardom as David Bowie’s right-hand man and The Spiders from Mars lead guitarist, and beyond.

The contemporary format allows Garry and Rupert to bring Mick’s story to life without any of the usual techniques we might see in theatre; no actors, props or staging as such. The pair bounce off one another, giving the show an electric energy. They tell us the facts, set the scene, introduce each storyteller and offer their own deeply personal anecdotes.

Garry and Rupert’s narration is interspersed with music from the Turn and Face the Strange band.  Mick’s long-time friends and on-off bandmates, lead guitarist Keith ‘Ched’ Cheesman, drummer John Cambridge and bassist John Bentley are joined by singers Kristian Eastwood (lead vocals), Annabel Etheridge (vocals) and Bobby Joyce (guitar and vocals) plus keys and string quartet.

The hugely talented band provide an impeccable soundtrack, packed with hit after hit, standout songs include Life’s a River, Fourth Hour of My Sleep and Life on Mars. Lead guitarist Ched stole the show with his sublime guitar solo during Moonage Daydream. We gave a standing ovation in awe of the sheer talent before us.

Ched, John Cambridge and John Bentley showed their love and admiration for their friend, sharing riotous tales from their time together taking the glam-rock scene by storm along with emotional and heart-warming anecdotes. I could’ve listened to their memories for hours.

With the potential to end on a sad note, hearing from Mick’s friends and admirers how his untimely death affected them and the rock-world, the band gave a rabble- rousing finale. Incorporating Starman, All the Young Dudes and Heroes, the whole theatre paid tribute to local-lad turned rock icon in the most quintessential way; on our feet, singing along, together.

Biography, exhibition and emotion, this deeply personal show certainly honours Mick’s legacy. A wonderful piece of theatre which it felt special to be a part of it.

This show was reviewed on Friday 8th December at Hull New Theatre; with only three exclusive performances taking place over the 8th and 9th December 2023. To find out more visit : Turn & Face The Strange – The Story of Mick Ronson (turnandfacethestrange.co.uk)

Review written by Mel Cooper


Photo credit: Turn & Face the Strange website 

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