Officer and a Gentleman is a love story to set your hearts soaring

-Credit: (Image: Devonlive)
-Credit: (Image: Devonlive)

An Officer and a Gentleman, Princess Theatre, Torquay


Eighties anthems - check, brooding aviators - check, men in uniform - check, iconic moments - check. And you're clear for take-off! This musical has plenty in its vital statistics to help it really soar as it takes to the stage in Torquay this week and it's safe to say the audience loved it.

While the film is adored by many, when the original film came out I would have been about four years old and I can't say it is one that stuck with me. Apart from the renowned end sequence and the power ballad, I couldn't tell you much about it. But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this stage production.

The show is based on the 1982 film of the same name starring Richard Gere and follows the story of officer candidate Zach Mayo as he goes against the odds to make the grade and become a navy jet pilot.

Along the way he finds love and friendship when he meets factory girl Paula Pokrifki and best mate and fellow officer hopeful Sid Worley. The pair's support alongside the tough input of Gunnery Sergeant Foley, help Zach rewrite his story of a good-for-nothing kid deserted and left to fend for himself in the world. But not everyone gets their heart's desire.

Featuring the songs of Bon Jovi, Blondie, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna and of course the chart-topper (Love Lift Us) Up Where We Belong, which was written for the movie, it is safe to say the soundtrack is much to be rivalled.

And where the film has the macho bravado of the eighties some of my favourite moments here were produced by the women in the factory with their renditions of earlier tunes It's a Man's World and I am Woman with Wendi Harriott (Aunt Bunny) and Melanie Masson (Esther Pokrifki) kicking some butt alongside the female cast.

That said the training moments as the candidates are put through their paces provide plenty of action with group numbers and syncing.

Luke Baker was admirable in the lead role as the flawed Mayo and worked well with Georgia Lennon as Paula.

All in all a love story to set your hearts soaring like the aviators it features with powerhouse ballads and 80s tunes you cannot resist.

An Officer and a Gentleman runs at Torquay's Princess Theatre until Saturday, July 6