Dreamgirls review: Show-stopping vocals will leave you desperate for more

Nicole Raquel Dennis as Effie White in Dreamgirls at the Norwich Theatre Royal

Nicole Raquel Dennis as Effie White in Dreamgirls, currently playing at the Norwich Theatre Royal - Credit: Matt Crockett

Dreamgirls has arrived at the Norwich Theatre Royal on its UK tour and this soulful and emotional musical is not one to be missed.

Set in the 1960s, the show follows Effie, Deena and Lorrell - The Dreams - as they try to make it big.

But an ambitious manager and the realities of a racist music industry threaten to push the group to breaking point.

Paige Peddie, Natalie Kassanga, and Nicole Raquel Dennis in Dreamgirls at Norwich Theatre Royal

Paige Peddie, Natalie Kassanga, and Nicole Raquel Dennis in Dreamgirls, currently playing at Norwich Theatre Royal - Credit: Matt Crockett

Nicole Raquel Dennis is a powerhouse as Effie White - the talented lead singer.

Effie's own selfishness and self-worth leads to tension in the group. But Dennis plays the role with such skill you desperately want her to succeed, faults and all.

The character is deserving of her diva-ship thanks to the vocals of Dennis - who brings the house down with every note and riff.

Her And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going is a tour de force, bringing the audience to its feet in one of the most deserving end-of-act-one standing ovations I've ever seen.

Paige Peddie, Nicole Raquel Dennis, Natalie Kassanga, and Brandon Lee Sears in Dreamgirls at Norwich Theatre Royal

Paige Peddie, Nicole Raquel Dennis, Natalie Kassanga, and Brandon Lee Sears in Dreamgirls, currently playing at Norwich Theatre Royal - Credit: Matt Crockett

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However, every character gets their turn to grab the audience's attention with riffs that would reach the back rows without microphones.

Deena steps into the limelight as The Dreams' new lead singer with ease thanks to silky vocals from Natalie Kassanga that switch effortlessly from soul to disco.

The cast of Dreamgirls, at Norwich Theatre Royal

The cast of Dreamgirls, currently playing at Norwich Theatre Royal. - Credit: Matt Crockett

Though not The Dreams' lead singer, Lorrell (Paige Peddie) is the leader of her own life.

She grows from a star-struck teenager to someone who makes the decision to put herself first.

Peddie also provides vocals that give Effie White a run for her money.

Brandon Lee Sears is magnetic as Jimmy Early, the star The Dreams sing back-up for. With a voice dreams are made of, he glides and struts across the stage like a true rock star.

Natalie Kassanga and Dom Hartley-Harris in Dreamgirls at Norwich Theatre Royal

Natalie Kassanga and Dom Hartley-Harris in Dreamgirls, currently playing at Norwich Theatre Royal - Credit: Matt Crockett

Dom Hartley-Harris is Machiavellian in his portrayal of Curtis Taylor Jr, The Dreams' ambitious manager.

Despite being the show's villain, you can't help but admire the character's desire to change a prejudiced music industry.

A talented chorus surrounded the main cast with fun, eye-catching choreography, beautiful harmonies and the constant reminder of how harsh showbiz can be.

The minimal set and clever lighting help to draw the audience's attention to the stellar performances of the cast, creating a stage within a stage effect.

The cast of Dreamgirls at Norwich Theatre Royal

The cast of Dreamgirls, currently playing at the Norwich Theatre Royal - Credit: Matt Crockett

Though an all-round spectacular show, the singing in Dreamgirls makes it a show that deserves to be seen.

Dreamgirls runs until June 11 at the Norwich Theatre Royal, book tickets at norwichtheatre.org