• pauljenkinspoet

Review - “Back To The Future - The Musical”. World premiere- Opera House, Manchester, Feb 20th, 2020

In the December of 1985 I was taken on a Christmas outing with my local cub scouts and had a life changing experience.

As a seven year old it was not my first time at the cinema - Basildon’s old ABC had been the venue when my Dad took me to see Return of the Jedi in 1983 - but to my knowledge, this is the first time I had been without the security of the parental units.

I remember it clearly. The plush seats; the red velvet curtains; the Pearl and Dean theme tune and how incredibly unsuitable a warm cubs jersey was in a hot, packed cinema. I even bought my own pack of Poppets (chocolate raisin ones) at the refreshment stand and everything. Totally grown up. I remember the really cool car, the blinding flashes as it went back in time, the sharp suits, the glamorous 50’s girls and of course the magnificent guitar solo. Johnny? He be gooood.

Everybody on my street wanted to be Marty Mcfly. Everybody. They wanted to be that cool, that charismatic. Except only one person could really actually BE him. And that somebody was me. After all I had the holy trinity of skateboard, denim jacket and Walkman - it was only right and proper that I assume the role and be the ambassador to carry the flame forward. I skated round that estate listening to Huey Lewis and dreamed of the day that I too would be able to visit Hill Valley - which is of course, a nice place to live.

I bought the DVD’s and played them till I’d learned the script inside out and back to front. I bought the merch - everything from annuals to posters to clothing - even my own little Lego Delorean. In between all that, I almost wet my pants when we visited Universal studios in Florida and I got to ride the ride with Doc and Marty and Einy and oh - it was magical. I was (as they say) a bit of a fan.

But it was nostalgia. A film from my childhood. Ironically BTTF was always a thing in my past but never sadly, my future.

And then they made a musical.

And then they decided to launch it not in LA or New York or London, but in Manchester, fifteen miles from my house.

Six days before my birthday.

Someone was definitely reach