Reviews have dropped for the West End production of Ain’t Too Proud in London – what did the critics make of it?
Transferring from Broadway, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations follows the remarkable journey of the group from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The new West End cast includes Cameron Bernard Jones as Melvin Franklin, Kyle Cox as Paul Williams, Sifiso Mazibuko as Otis Williams, Tosh Wanogho-Maud as David Ruffin and Mitchell Zhangazha as Eddie Kendricks. The show features a book by Kennedy Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau and reunites two-time Tony Award winning director Des McAnuff with Tony and Olivier Award winning choreographer Sergio Trujilio.
Ain’t Too Proud opened at the Prince Edward Theatre this week and the reviews are in…
Ain’t Too Proud London reviews
“I suppose ultimately one could argue that Ain’t Too Proud does only what it says on the tin. That’s fine, as long as that tin promises slickly produced, uplifting popular entertainment filled with unforgettable soul and R’n’B classics, gleaming spectacle and rousing performances” – Read the full review
Daily Mail- 3/5
“The best catalogue musicals, like Mamma Mia! or Jersey Boys, make more of their stories. Here we just get a smattering of historical events, from Martin Luther King to the Vietnam War, augmented by a predictable plod from the early days of the group.” – Read the full review
Time Out – 3/5
“I left the theatre knowing a lot more about The Temptations without quite understanding what this clean-cut group’s appeal was, in an era with so many more authentic, outspoken acts. It’ll no doubt play well to existing fans, but I’m not sure it’ll get new ones to sing their praises.” – Read the full review
The Stage – 4/5
“Yes, Dominique Morisseau’s book can be clunky with exposition, and big events feel shoehorned in – the result of packing decades into a couple of hours. But the leads give such winning performances that you find yourself invested in their story. And with a soundtrack of the Temptations’ greatest hits, many of them stitched into our pop culture, it’s hard not to have a good time.” – Read the full review
The Guardian – 2/5
“Little is expanded upon on the concert-like set on which a Cadillac, a desk or a line of men’s urinals occasionally glide on and off, while the songs themselves are sometimes truncated rather than sung in full. It all feels too safe and more than a little soulless.” – Read the full review
The Times – 2/5
“In its prime, Motown ran a ruthlessly efficient quality control operation, so it’s ironic that this jukebox celebration of one of the label’s greatest acts, the Temptations, turns out to be maddeningly erratic. Hardcore fans will still be, ahem, tempted to buy a ticket. Everyone would probably be better off running through a playlist on a streaming service.” – Read the full review
Ain’t Too Proud plays Prince Edward Theatre, London currently booking through to 1 October 2023.