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What's On, Culture, Theatre

Dreamgirls at the New Theatre Oxford


Standing ovation on its first night - you don't want to miss this incredible production!

What a show. Even if you're not familiar with the play or the Oscar-winning film, Dreamgirls at the New Theatre ticks every box. The songs are catchy, the costumes fabulous, the set is glittering and the dancers are excellent. However, this is a musical with heart, and at its heart are the singers. I was literally gaping by the time Nicole Louise Lewis had finished her rendition of And I am Telling You. You could have heard a pin drop in the packed auditorium, silenced by the sheer power of her voice. Whilst this was the stand out moment, the rest of the cast were equally gifted - Natalie Kassanga as Deena Jones had a sweetly soulful tone and Paige Peddie's Lorell brought scene stealing humour to the trio.

The men were just as impressive, and special mention must go to Shem Omari James who had to jump into the role of Jimmy Early at the last minute. If the gossip I overheard at the interval this young man is One To Watch. Apparently Hollywood is heard it here first!


Set in the 1960s, the show tells the story of the Dreams, three talented young singers taking on the turbulent world of fame and fortune, testing friendships and facing some bitter truths along the way.

The impressive cast and company, straight from the West End, includes Nicole Raquel Dennis, Finalist on The Voice 2019, who takes on the role of Effie. (Nicole’s mentor on the show was Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar for her role in the 2007 film adaptation). Soul, gospel and blues artist, Sharlene Hector, will be covering certain performances. Following her performance of Diana Ross in Motown: the Musical, Natalie Kassanga is Deena and Lorrel is played by Paige Peddie, who may be familiar to some as the ‘Unexpected Star’ of Michael McIntryre’s Big Show (Christmas, 2018).

Based on the original Broadway production with book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Henry Krieger, the show is directed and choreographed by Olivier® and Tony® winning Casey Nicholaw with costume and set design by Tim Hatley.

Tickets are still available for opening night, Tuesday 27 September, but if you can’t make it, the show runs until Saturday 1 October with matinees on Thursday and Saturday.

A full schedule of the Sonia Friedman Productions tour of Dreamgirls with booking links can be found at


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