ON September 27, 1968 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, Hair opened.

It was a significant date as the opening night was delayed until the abolition of theatre censorship that year as the show included nudity and profanity.

It ran for 1,997 performances, only closing when the theatre’s roof collapsed in July.

This was said to be due to vibrations from the loud rock music.

Labeled The American Tribal LoveRock Musical it was a product of hippie counterculture, drugs and sexual revolution of the late 1960s and the antiVietnam War peace movement.

In the opening number we are told that the show is a museum of the 60s and like all good museums there are prize exhibits and lesser ones.

Here the music takes the prize whilst its book is the weak link – often incoherent, childish and unfunny.

Also the show is far too long and in need of drastic trimming.

These criticisms are limited to the writing and in no way can it be aimed at the cast who all give knock-out performances.

The quality and power of the singing is outstanding. Great anthems, like Aquarius, Ain’t Got No, Hair, I Got Life, Good Morning Starshine and Let The Sunshine In, are all rolled out with enormous vitality against a backdrop of continually changing psychedelic projections.

With such a large talented cast only a few can be singled out.

Andrew Carn and Josh Hanson give excellent, contrasting portrayals as Berger and Claude – one the leader full of bravado who burns hid draft card, the other a dreamer who accepts his army call-up with its fatal consequences.

Lucia Romero Clark, Abbi Crawford and the comical Zoe Saunders also stand out.

The six-piece orchestra, clad in Sergeant Pepper coats, produces glorious loud rock music which luckily does no damage to the Old Market roof.