IT’S the show that everyone needs right now.

Jersey Boys has returned to the north west, almost 15 years after its West End debut.

And judging by the enraptured audience reaction on Wednesday night at the Opera House, it was just the tonic required to escape the ongoing turmoil, doom and gloom making the national headlines right now.

A full house of theatregoers – including legendary Coronation Street actors Michael Le Vell, Jimmi Harkishin and David Neilson – had their toes tapping and hands clapping from the get go, and that was even before they heard the distinctive sound of Frankie Valli’s falsetto.

For anyone who hasn’t seen the production previously, the show is a bio-musical which takes inspiration from band members Frankie along with Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi – aka the Four Seasons.

Performed on a scaffold-style set, during the 2hrs 20mins running time their story is told over the course of the four seasons themselves – spring, summer, fall and winter.

Despite the clean cut image they portrayed, the Jersey Boys had to juggle a whole host of internal issues away from their soaring success, from loan sharks and prison stints to the death of Frankie’s daughter Francine.

Having seen the incredibly talented original West End Frankie, Ryan Molloy, perform previously it was with some trepidation that I went to see this latest touring production.

Knutsford Guardian:

It’s virtually impossible to live up to the high bar he set and on this occasion it was Ryan Heenan, billed in the show programme as Frankie Valli only at certain performances, taking the top role on press night. With some initial nerves apparent he soon warmed up however and was visibly moved by the generous reaction to his strong solo numbers, particularly Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

But this is an ensemble show and Blair Gibson as Gaudio, Dalton Wood as DeVito and Christopher Short as Massi, gelled well as a foursome, each bringing their own strengths to the production as they addressed the audience directly.

Hit after hit, the show works primarily because of the strength of the songs – Sheree, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Working My Way Back To You and Walk Like A Man being just a few of the apparent favourites. It’s unfortunate that due to the sheer number of them many aren’t able to be performed in full, leaving the audience Beggin’ for more.

Dancing in the aisles, they didn’t want it to end and ‘show-mazing’ was how I heard it described by one lady on the way out. Oh What A Night.

  • The show runs at Manchester's Opera House until Saturday, October 29. For tickets go to