Hair, New Theatre Cardiff

Hair is one of those shows where if you ask a member of the public what they know about it, they would say – Aquarius, Let the Sun Shine in and Hippies. When Hair was first performed in 1969, it would have left its audiences in shock. It was written as an almost ‘educational’ shock rebellion piece – to teach audiences a better way, a freer way, that they can live their lives.
The real power of the musical at the time was about the language and themes that the characters in the show sang about. The fact that they all get naked and that the entire second act has a marijuana plant on stage definitely drew the show attention. However it was songs like L.B.J – a song about LSD, and Sodomy – a song where they say masturbation on stage; that really wowed audiences in that era. I left the show last night thinking how inspired and impressed a teenage American boy would be leaving that show 50 years ago.
The show is almost an operetta with hardly any spoken text. Musically the best way of describing it is a ‘Wall of Sound’. Incredible harmonies and musically is a truly powerful and breath-taking piece. The energy of the sound, especially at the end, just puts the hairs up on the back of your neck.
This high energy production itself was fantastic, with never really a dull moment. The sets, lighting, costumes were all incredible. The use of projection through out the piece was clever and all of the performers were really strong. The direction was very clever with lots of audience interaction, to make you feel like you were there and apart of the group.
Hair is a piece to see, to say you saw it. This show is now a snapshot of an era of time that doesn’t really exist anymore. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important to remember the history, or how this way of life evolved us as people.
New Theatre until the 20th of April.

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