Take That performing their Wonderland Live Tour at The Sheffield Arena on Monday 29th May 2017.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

In 1990 five young men were spotted by talent agent Nigel Martin-Smith and they have never looked back since. Take That became four in 1995 when Robbie Williams left and the band became a three piece when Jason Orange left in 2014. For many that may have signalled the end of the group but nobody factored in the resilience of remaining members, Howard Donald, Mark Owen and Gary Barlow.

Touring to promote their latest album, Wonderland which was released earlier this year, it was a packed Sheffield Arena who turned out last night to see how this tour would come together. With their previous tours having had much clearer themes, such as a thrilling trip to the Circus in 2009 and a giant robot on the 2011 Progress Tour, Take That took this crowd last night to Wonderland; a show that began with a ‘Grand Master’ who duly appeared playing a sitar on a flying carpet, and the mystical evening had begun.

Entering through the crowd to a round stage, they were greeted with screams of delight as the backing band ascended from beneath the stage. Opening with Wonderland, there were confetti guns and flame throwers in evidence. Later songs saw the introduction of stilt walkers, trapeze artists, exotic dancers, gigantic swans, inflatable sea creatures, winged horses and Eastern mysticism. It was like making a journey into Wonderland with Alice.

But despite the props and busy stage, this trio had no problems in the entertainment department. With a career spanning 27 years, they were able to dig into the unexpected album track archives, as demonstrated by Get Ready For It from III, and the electronic Kidz from their 2010 album Progress.

On Underground Machine, Howard headed a conga line, and Mark delivered Superstar whilst wearing a Native American headdress. During the acoustic interlude the band sat in a circle playing tablas and flutes as they treated this encapsulated audience with a rhythmic Beautiful World and a lovely version of Satisfied using classical Indian instruments. Ending this section with mass sing along, How Deep Is Your Love? the trio livened up the proceedings with New Day and Shine, both of which exploded into exhilarating spectacles.

It’s All For You saw a now peroxide blond Gary Barlow singing from a bed revolving twenty feet above the audiences heads as the stage filled with a menagerie of over sized animals. The Flood was similarly spectacular as the three of them seemed to be imprisoned by torrential sheets of rain.

Back For Good and Patience were delivered without any fanfare and showed off their vocal abilities, whilst the smooth pop perfection of their first number one Pray, saw them doing their original dance moves.

Finishing with Rule The World, the Arena was lit with thousands of phone lights that was a befitting end to a night of pure entertainment that had not only been a feast for the eyes but had not done the ears any harm either.

And for those who missed the concert or simply want more of the Take That experience, on 9th June for one night only at close to 500 cinemas across the UK and Ireland, there will be a live Cinema Broadcast from the O2 London, which promises to give fans a unique and unbeatable cinematic experience. www.cinemalive.com has all the details.