Cast of the 2023 UK tour of Stranger Sings! - Photo courtesy Norwich Theatre

The first four seasons of the hugely popular Netflix 80s science fiction horror are ruthlessly parodied in this joyous pastiche musical.

From the programme’s studiously laboured nostalgic references – New Coke anyone? – to star Winona Ryder’s film back catalogue, little is left untouched by Jonathan Hogue’s witty and wild book, music, and lyrics.

The plot roughly follows the first season’s story of teenager Will going missing, and his rescue from the Upside Down by his gang of Dungeons and Dragons playing friends, a mysterious girl with psycho-kinetic powers, and his mum Joyce and the local sheriff.

But in reality if you don’t already know the plot it’s all likely to mean little to you, as it is merely a backdrop from some outrageous detours (ET, Thriller, and neon lycra-clad exercise tapes all get a nod) and sarcastic songs that affectionately pillory Stranger Things‘ characters and story. If you remember the 80s from first time around, you’ll love it all the more.

Cast of the 2023 UK tour of Stranger Sings! - Photo courtesy Norwich Theatre

Verity Power is outstanding playing both Joyce and Will – represented by a puppet she carries around, leading to a few duets with herself. Her frenzied smoking and nervous twitching are a perfect parody of Winona Ryder’s on screen performance.

Anna Amelia stands out tackling the roles of Nancy, Eleven, and Robin, with great comic presence, some nice dance moves, and the strongest voice on stage.

Also impressing is Philippa Leadbetter as the frequently forgotten Barb, replacing the Duffer Brother’s shy plot device with a feisty character who is definitely not going to slip your mind.

There is less to do for those representing the male characters, but Alfie Doohan gives a nice turn as the awkward Jonathan that contrasts pleasingly with his other main role as Steve ‘the hair’ Harrington.

It’s a knowingly daft and slightly rough around the edges musical – it’s unlikely to win prizes for its choreography and the songs, while funny, are not instant classics – but as a fanfare to a fan favourite TV show, it ticks all the right boxes.

  • Stranger Sings! continues its UK tour until May 31, 2024; dates include Chelmsford Theatre on April 5 & 6 and Peterborough New Theatre on May 25.