Review Round-Ups

Bend It Like Beckham scores with critics

Natalie Dew, Jamie Campbell Bower and Lauren Samuels star in the new screen to stage musical

Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage


"a vibrant, lyrical, irresistible set of songs by Howard Goodall (music) and Charles Hart (lyrics)."

"Hart's lyrics are literate, witty and sly, sometimes too over-dense for complete audibility, but very good at conveying honest emotion"

"Above all, the show has charm"

Michael Billington, Guardian


"it has the same exuberant cheerfulness as the film, and a similar tendency to offer easy solutions to difficult social problems."

"Chadha’s production, Aletta Collins’s choreography and Neil Austin’s lighting between them neatly overcome the problem of putting football on stage: a strong female ensemble shows deft ball control"

"Even if Charles Hart’s lyrics are no more than serviceable, Howard Goodall’s score is delightfully eclectic"

"But the show’s festive gaiety and liberal spirit also become a way of masking the big issues"

Quentin Letts, Daily Mail


"Britain’s newest musical turns out to be like the best sort of FA cup match: end-to-end entertainment, full of feisty shimmers and heart- stopping melodrama."

"Natalie Dew is excellent as Jess"

"Okay, it is all more than a touch soupy. The plot may never win trophies for sophistication."

"But the sheer fun of it is irresistible and it can legitimately claim to have a social message"

Paul Taylor, Independent


"This is the most irresistibly joyous musical-theatre make-over of a much-loved movie since Billy Elliot."

"Natalie Dew is wonderfully winning and pure-voiced as Jess"

"Jamie Campbell Bower has a strong heartthrob presence"

"as an uplifting celebration of multi-cultural Britain, this show plays a blinder."

Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph


"All that’s required is to watch what unfolds with an open mind and prepare to be transported and uplifted in a way that few British musicals manage to achieve."

"For what feels like the first time in the West End, the sound of a sub-continent breaks into a suburban landscape"

"if you want some star-players the show has them, not least dishy former Harry Potter star Jamie Campbell Bower as the caring coach."

Dominic Maxwell, The Times


"She shoots… she stages… she scores! Gurinder Chadha, that is, the film-maker who here converts the 2002 film that made her name into a winning stage musical."

"if, like me, you don’t fall entirely under its spell in a pleasant but sluggish first half, whatever you do don’t make for the exits at half time."

"it’s mainstream yet knotty, funny yet tender, generous enough to make you happy to bend with its contrivances"

Bend It Like Beckham is currently booking until 24 October 2015