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An Officer and A Gentleman directed by Nikolai Foster is on stage at Southampton Mayflower Theatre until Saturday





Hits of the 80s combined with dazzling visuals for the musical reimagining of the iconic film An Officer and a Gentleman, at Southampton Mayflower Theatre.

The musical show, which is currently on an extensive UK tour, is based on the 1982 blockbuster starring Richard Gere, with a retrofitted medley of hits from the decade including music from Bon Jovi, Madonna and Billy Ocean to name a few.

Georgia Lennon as Paula Pokrifki Luke Baker as Zack Mayo in An Officer and a Gentleman (Photo: Marc Brenner)
Georgia Lennon as Paula Pokrifki Luke Baker as Zack Mayo in An Officer and a Gentleman (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Set against the backdrop of the United States Naval Aviation Training Facility in Pensacola, Florida, in the early 1980s, the show follows the journey of Zack Mayo, a troubled young man with dreams of becoming a naval aviator, and Paula Pokrifki, a local factory worker with her own ambitions to become a nurse.

Superbly designed props and lighting enabled swift and seamless changes between many scenes, including the naval training academy, the paper factory and a local bar.

Olivia Foster-Browne as Casey Seegar in An Officer and a Gentleman. (Photo: Marc Brenner)
Olivia Foster-Browne as Casey Seegar in An Officer and a Gentleman. (Photo: Marc Brenner)

The use of moving staircases, climbing apparatus, huge props and vibrant neon lighting further helped to define each new location.

Directed by Nikolai Foster, the story smoothly transitioned between intense emotional moments and uplifting musical numbers, with first class choreography which was dynamic and superbly executed.

The cast of An Officer and a Gentleman (Photo: Marc Brenner)
The cast of An Officer and a Gentleman (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Depicting the intensity of the gruelling 12-week officers’ training programme; the young recruits were put through their paces both physically and psychologically by the superb Jamal Kane Crawford as Sergeant Emil Foley, who perfectly balanced moments of terror with tenderness.

Luke Baker also put in a standout performance as the troubled young recruit Zack Mayo, and alongside him Georgia Lennon was wonderful as his love interest Paula Pokrifki, with each delivering a powerful vocal performance.

Sinead Long as Lynette Pomeroy and Georgia Lennon as Paula Pokrifki in An Officer and a Gentleman (Photo credit: Marc Brenner)
Sinead Long as Lynette Pomeroy and Georgia Lennon as Paula Pokrifki in An Officer and a Gentleman (Photo credit: Marc Brenner)

As the love story between Zack’s buddy Sid Worley (Paul French) and Lynette Pomeroy (Sinead Long) played out in parallel, both made the most of their roles. Also worthy of praise was Olivia Foster-Browne, as the tiny but determined female officer in training Casey Seegar.

Having never watched An Officer and a Gentleman, I came to the show with no preconceptions; and there were many elements I enjoyed such as the first class choreography and brilliant full cast numbers.

Jamal Crawford as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman (Photo credit: Marc Brenner)
Jamal Crawford as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman (Photo credit: Marc Brenner)

However, in 2024 there were some themes which were very much of a reflection of another time – such as the notion that the best way for a young woman to advance was to trick a trainee officer into getting her pregnant!

The depiction of Casey Seegar (the only female officer in training) as the least athletic and physically able of the recruits, also played into outdated gender stereotypes.

Despite this, An Officer and a Gentleman was huge fun with a soundtrack of iconic ‘80s hits which clearly hit the mark with the packed audience, who were on their feet for a standing ovation. For anyone who loved the movie this is a show that is sure to delight.

Catch it at Southampton Mayflower Theatre until Saturday. For tickets visit https://www.mayflower.org.uk



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