Review An Officer and a Gentleman

Review: An Officer and a Gentleman at Theatre Royal

80s music, a timeless story of love and empowering friendships. An Officer and a Gentleman has arrived at Newcastle Theatre Royal!

Caroline Dask

Journalist at Luxe


If, like me, you haven’t watched the film ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ from the 80s, you (at least) undoubtedly have heard some of the soundtrack featured in the musical. I’m talking songs from the likes of Madonna, Bon Jovi, Cindi Lauper, Blondie and more.

Hours before the show, I have a chance to talk to Georgia Lennon, playing the main love interest Paula Pokrifki, about the musical and the message it carries. With this conversation still fresh in my mind, I am in full 80s spirit as ‘Material Girl’ is blasting through my speakers while I’m getting ready to head to Theatre Royal on this sunny Monday evening.

Review An Officer and a Gentleman

The Storyline

The story follows Zack Mayo, played by Luke Baker, as he navigates an emotional journey through loss, heartbreak and now, a tough training regime to become a fearless officer candidate.

During one of his days off a volunteer nurse, Paula Pokrifki, catches Zack’s eye and he simply can’t stay away. There’s something about her that fascinates him. Paula is independent, fearless, feisty and everything Zack dreams of. Once they meet, sparks ignite as they navigate the highs and lows of being in love.

It’s a romantic and dreamy story of two people who are destined to be together, portraying how no challenge, no obstacle and no person is big enough to get in the way of true love.

Review An Officer and a Gentleman

An Officer and a Gentleman: The Cast

Luke Baker, playing Zack Mayo, might just be one of the most emotionally intelligent characters ever on stage and Luke portrays that beautifully. The emotional depth of his character is seen throughout the show but especially with musical numbers such as ‘Blaze of Glory’ and ‘Family Man’.

In ‘Family Man’ the musical number sends a powerful message that showcases the character’s vulnerability and here, Luke is simply the star of the show, captivating the audience’s attention and igniting feelings of sympathy and heartbreak, as he navigates the passing of his friend Sid Worley, played by Paul French.

Luke Baker Zack Mayo

Georgia Lennon, playing Paula Pokrifki is a sweet and relatable character, however, Georgia adds an extra layer of depth to her. While she is lovable and likeable, Paula also stands on her own two feet and isn’t afraid to call people out.

Her standout performances include songs ‘I Want to Know What Love is’ and ‘Alone’. Both of them separately represent Paula in a remarkable way. In ‘I Want to Know What Love is’ Paula is head over heels for Zack and channels her inner lover girl aura, while in ‘Alone’ she is vulnerable, delivering an emotional performance of longing for her loved one.

While every cast member is brilliant in their own unique ways, a special mention goes to Paul French, playing Zack’s friend and Lynette Pomeroy’s, played by Julia Jones, love interest. His performance of ‘Family Man’ is a stand-out moment in the production, representing the inner monologue of a devastating heartbreak.

Paul French Sid Worley

An Officer and a Gentleman – The Music

Among the beautiful love storyline and the extremely talented cast, another stand out element of the show is music. While I’m not a devoted fan of 80s music, almost every musical performance was familiar to me. From the first scenes with ‘In The Army Now’ and ‘It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World’ and ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ – An Officer and a Gentleman has some really good singalong worth numbers.

Act Two opens with ‘Living on A Prayer’ and it’s the perfect welcome back after a little break, catching up with our friends at Theatre Royal. It’s an 80s party on stage and everyone is invited! The atmosphere at the theatre is electrifying, inviting the audience to participate. Not long after, we’re clapping to the familiar sound of Bon Jovi’s music and the show feels more like an experience, rather than your typical musical.

Review An Officer and a Gentleman

What Was Good About The Show?

The simple answer is everything! An Officer and a Gentleman is the perfect evening treat, with a feel-good cheesy love story, classical musical hits, and an unforgettable cast. If you’re anything like me, you will be listening to the soundtrack of the musical long after the curtain closes.

Who Is The Show For?

People of all age groups will enjoy An Officer and a Gentleman as it’s got something to appeal to every taste. Whether you’re a fan of the golden age of music, or simply just someone who is looking for a way to treat your loved one to a heartwarming evening, you’re bound to find joy in this romantic show. It will make you laugh, cry and reminisce.

An Officer and a Gentleman is playing at Newcastle Theatre Royal until 18 May. Don’t miss it!