Review: Newsies The Musical at Wembley Park Theatre

A winning blend of the hard-luck orphan plot - think Annie and Oliver - crossed with the themes of revolution and solidarity in Les Miserables and Billy Elliot.

Whether you’re a fan of panto, ballet or a classic musical, there’s no better time than the festive season to indulge in the delights of a night at the theatre.

And for anyone who grew up singing show tunes and dreaming of Broadway, there’s a new kid on the block in London this Christmas.

Based on the 1992 Christian Bale film Newsies - a heartwarming tale about a ragamuffin band of newspaper boys (and girls) in turn of the century New York City - has opened at the Troubadour, Wembley Park Theatre, produced by Disney.

A winning blend of the hard-luck orphan plot - think Annie and Oliver - crossed with the themes of revolution and solidarity in Les Miserables and Billy Elliot.

Running until April 2023, the show is set during the 1899 newsboys strike.

Cameron Jones in Disney’s Newsies. Photo: Johan Persson

An eclectic cast of characters - from street urchins to newspaper magnates via showgirls and the obligatory plucky ahead-of-her-time female journalist - walk, twirl and leap with us through the city streets and rooftops.

The show is impressively immersive, with dancers and cast members running, flying, jumping and climbing through the audience.

The cast of Disney’s Newsies. Photo: Johan Persson

However, the dancing is what I’ll most remember from the performance.

The choreography is energetically athletic - with stars pirouetting, spinning, somersaulting and backflipping across the stage, all while enthralling the crowd with catchy tunes, before standing ovations aplenty.

Left to right: Mukeni Nel, Cameron Jones and Mark Samaras in Disney’s Newsies. Photo: Johan Persson

Newsies has heart and oomph with a curiously resonant message about the power and courage of the fight for workers’ rights.

A romantic relationship plotline felt shoehorned in, but the chemistry between the actors delivered.

While the odd lyric may be overwritten, it can all be forgiven for the simple reason that this show manages to deftly obey the first rules of both journalism and theatre: tell them a good story.

For tickets, visit the Disney’s Newsies website.