"Just For One Day," the new Live Aid musical, promises a time warp back to 1985, a year saturated with bold strokes of activism, anthems, and unprecedented global unity. There is a lot of excitement in the theatre before the start of the show. Some of the people in the audience attended the Wembley event which makes this night even more special.

The plot, while seemingly straightforward, resonates deeply. We follow Bob Geldof (Craige Els), his fiery passion ignited by the devastating news of Ethiopian famine. Craige embodies him with captivating intensity, perfectly capturing Geldof's restless energy, tireless dedication, unwavering belief in the power of music and nuanced emotional depth.

But Geldof is not alone in his mission. Jack Shaloo as Midge Ure provides a calming counterpart, his clear, soaring vocals a testament to Ure's pivotal role in organizing the event. Equally impressive are Danielle Steer and Olly Dobson. And let's not forget the ensemble. Each actor becomes a distinct voice in the symphony of humanitarian effort.

Director Luke Sheppard masterfully blends intimate moments with the electrifying concert scenes. The iconic Wembley Stadium is recreated on stage with dazzling lights and pulsating energy, transporting the audience to the heart of the historic event. Yet, it's the quieter moments that linger - Geldof's visit to Africa, the exhaustion etched on weary faces, the quiet determination shared backstage - that truly touch the soul.

The iconic 80s anthems are not simply played, they are reimagined, interwoven, and amplified, creating a tapestry of sound that carries the emotional weight of the narrative. You'll discover new depths in these familiar tunes.

While the dialogue might veer towards the "corny" and didascalic at times, it doesn't overshadow the heart and message of the musical. "Just For One Day" is more than just entertainment. It's a potent reminder of the power music has to unite, to inspire, and to enact change. It's a celebration of individual courage and the collective spirit. As the final chords fade, the audience doesn't just applaud, they erupt in cheers, hearts brimming with both nostalgia and the hope that echoes from the stage.

This is a show that leaves you humming familiar tunes, but also reflecting on the power we hold to impact the world, one day at a time. 


It runs until 30 March. Tickets: here.


Photos: Manuel Harlan