Motown the Musical Reviews - Shaftesbury Theatre

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Venue Information
Shaftesbury Theatre

Shaftesbury Theatre
210 Shaftesbury Avenue

Seating Plan


(5mins) Turn right onto New Oxford Street (past the Dominion) for 200 metres, and then turn right onto Shaftesbury Avenue, where the theatre will be on your left 100 metres down.

Show Information
Booking From: Monday, 25th September 2017
Booking Until: Saturday, 5th January 2019
Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Show Schedule
Mon: 7.30pm
Tue: 7.30pm
Wed: 7.30pm
Thu: 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Fri: 7.30pm
Sat: 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Review Summary
Average Rating: 4 out of 5 stars based on 93 review(s)


Latest Review: "We saw the show September 2016 the best show ever we are booking again for march 2018 5 Stars.
Reviews Sort by
    Saturday, 25th Feb 2017 by K Griffiths

A very disappointing show, no story line, female voices very poor and quite shouty, male lead very good but overall a very lack lustre performance. After seeing many excellent west end musicals this was not the normal high standard we are used to seeing.

    Thursday, 16th Feb 2017 by Anna

Went to see the show 15th February 2017. Was very disappointed. I see others have complained about the theatre but that is always a part of the ambience and have no complaints there. The show was very mediocre and thought it a shame that some of the songs were only played for one or two lines. Found the story line tedious and most of the singers not up to singing motown which I love. Loved Berry Gordy's voice and Marvin Gaye's voice too. Would probably go as far as to say that this was one of the worst musicals I have ever seen and my husband and I have seen many West End musicals. Such a shame because Motown has such iconic stars and my opinion is if you cannot get the actors to portray the singing well enough then don't put the show on.

    Saturday, 11th Feb 2017 by bazzamag

My wife & I love Motown music but were very disappointed with this show. If you are interested in the Motown story the show is for you although it got a bit tedious & drawn out at times with political overtones. However if you are going purely for the music don't bother ! Most of the songs lasted only for 4 or 5 lines with only a couple of songs sung through in full. Many Motown classics were not even covered. That said the performers were excellent.

    Saturday, 11th Feb 2017 by Agnes

We love Motown music & we thought that this show would be packed with the songs that we remember from the late 60s & early 70s. Sadly, In our opinion there was too much talking/acting & not enough singing/dancing. A good part of the show focused on the relationship between Berry Gordy & Diana Ross & most of the songs were only sung in part.

Having said that, the cast were superb & gave a good performance. The singing, dancing & costumes were excellent. Diana Ross in particular, gave an excellent performance, but the star of the show for me was the young Michael Jackson.

    Thursday, 2nd Feb 2017 by Nada

I have never felt compelled to leave a review of a West End show but I have to shout it out from the rooftops, this show was excellent. The song choices were wonderful and took you down memory lane - I didn't even know I was such a Motown fan - and the vocals of the cast were phenomenal. Coupled with the fact that the show traces the story of Motown and the challenges of segregation in the US and the economic crisis, I was gripped from start to finish and must have felt every emotion too. A must see.

    Tuesday, 10th Jan 2017 by Simon Naylor

We found that the performance got a little monotonous, especially the first half which seemed to take ages.

Some of the main stars were 'off the mark', and whilst the music was iconic, the show lacked depth.

    Sunday, 1st Jan 2017 by Nicky

I cannot believe some of the miserable reviews. The show gave an interesting insight into the start of Motown and Berry Gordys struggles. The few racial remarks were part of the story at the time (part of history) The cast are brilliant and so professional, the music is electric and hard to sit still very upbeat show and very enjoyable.

The remarks about the theater ie: seats small and theater itself in need of refurbishment.....really. Shaftsbury theater is 100 odd years old and beautiful and part of historic London, also people back then were a lot smaller due to lack of take away outlets etc so if you are a lump yes the seat will be a cosy fit but doesn't detract from a fantastic show about the start of Motown music and the struggles between black and white.

    Thursday, 29th Dec 2016 by Matt

Certainly not what I expected.... a regular visitor to the West End for shows, sadly this show ranks amongst the poor efforts of a musical performance.

The show is sold as a musical extravaganza of Motown classics, but actually it's a heavy (deep) recollection of the racial divide and white supremacy in the 60s & 70s. The show is flat, has long dialogues and at times spins left field, to highlight the struggle of black music (use of the word "Nigger" continuously was quite annoying).

Surely celebrating the music genre that is Motown, oppose to dwelling on its struggles, would prove a finer and more enjoyable stage performance.

    Wednesday, 21st Dec 2016 by Steve

Bitterly dissapionted ?? I found the racial undertone distasteful and not needed was trying to be to PC should have focused more on the music as that is what Motown is all about after all but on a more pleasant note the singers has great voices

    Friday, 9th Dec 2016 by Valerie

The show itself was ok but our complaint was the theatre itself. Very hot, seating near the back in the stalls are all on one level so lots of people like us were not able to see at all. I spent the whole evening dodging the very tall man in front to try and see which made the lady behind me quite angry. It spoilt our expensive evening. We won't visit this theatre again

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