Theatre review: The Blues Brothers… Approved @ Manchester Opera House

By Helen Le Caplain

The Blues Brothers strutted their way into Manchester on Tuesday night bringing with them a unique blend of musical comedy and outrageous humour.

Donning the ubiquitous shades and pork pie hats, the duo sang and danced their way through 180 minutes of soul, country and rock ‘n’ roll classics.

Fresh from a residency in Chicago and an American national tour, Brad Henshaw and Chris Chandler stepped into the shoes of Jake and Elwood for The Blues Brothers… Approved tour.

From the first chord of the iconic Peter Gunn Theme the audience is transported back to the streets of 1980s Chicago.

Hit after hit including Shake a Tail Feather, Respect and Think had audiences up on their feet, singing and dancing along.

Brad Henshaw does a superb job as Jake Blues careering around the stage with boundless energy while delivering flawless vocal performances.

Partner in crime Chris Chandler takes on the role of streetwise Elwood with great aplomb, with standout performance of the night Under the Boardwalk.

This Drifters pop classic, punctuated by comedic storytelling, is transformed into an emotional ballad featuring extreme low notes and exquisite falsetto highs.

But this was no two-man show, I take my (pork pie) hat off to backing singers Bluettes who were magnificent and performed with real power and sass, while Manchester’s very own William Hazell shone as Reverend Levi Lovejoy.

Add into the mix the fabulous Blues Brothers Band and you’ve got yourself one hell of a show.

If you want to don your dancing shoes, shake your tail feather and bring some soul and blues into your life, then this show is just the ticket.

Blues Brothers… Approved is at the Opera House until May 11.

For more information, or to book tickets for the show visit

Image courtesy of belgradetheatre via YouTube, with thanks

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