Paying homage to the Netflix series before its conclusion, parody, musical Stranger Sings, tours theatres, stopping at St George’s Hall where Leo Owen caught the show

Focusing predominantly on the first series, Jonathan Hogue packs his show with in-jokes, clearly aiming it at Stranger Things fans. Justin Williams’ wonky set also faithfully transports us to Hawkins, Indiana, and the “Upside Down”, impressively recreating Joyce, Jonathan and Will’s home. Fairy lights draped, letters scrawled across the walls and a tendril entwined around various 1980s’ furnishings and memorabilia comprise the show’s consistent backdrop.

Famed for its popular heavy synth soundtrack, Stranger Things pushed Kate Bush into a long-overdue number one spot. Here on stage a keyboardist plays live, paying instrumental homage to the sounds of the 80s and even briefly giving a nod to "Running Up That Hill”. While none of Hogue’s original songs are especially catchy, the lyrics are fitting and include some amusing lines with his opening number ending ominously with “nothing bad ever happens in small towns”.

Director Ellis Kerkhoven’s casting is superb with many of the ensemble closely resembling the original Netflix actors. Will is ingeniously represented by a muppet controlled by Verity Power and as Hopper, Howard Jenkins has perfected the jittery slightly unhinged mannerism of Hawkins’ Chief of Police. While not all can sing very well, this doesn’t really matter for such a consciously tongue-in-cheek parody. That said, Power as Joyce and Anna Amelia playing Eleven are both especially strong, among a unanimously talented cast who play multiple roles. Barb (Philippa Leadbetter) and Nancy’s (Amelia too) “Friends Forever” number contains the amusing line “I’m a 7 and you’re a 3 but together we’re a perfect 10”. Joyce’s song is particularly entertaining, imagining Winona Ryder breaking out of character with a random chorus line of her iconic roles from Beetlejuice, Heathers and Edward Scissorhands to the later Little Women. Dustin (William Shackleton) and Steve’s (Alfie Doohan) duet “Nice” deserves a mention, as does Mike (Elliott Wooster) and Eleven’s sweet duet “So Alive”; Barb’s song “I’m the Stranger Thing” complete with a dancing Demogorgon and the finale “Upside Down” that neatly refers back to the show’s opening.

There are plenty of 80s’ references to delight, from The Breakfast Club to The Goonies’ “Truffle Shuffle” and Dirty Dancing. There’s an amusing E.T. parody complete with lit up Chopper style handlebars and, despite being in Series 3, Dustin’s popular NeverEnding Story solo briefly gets some stage time. Costumes and props naturally nod to the 80s too with lots of dodgy wigs and especially amusing choreographed backing dancers clad in shell suits and roller boots clutching ribbon wands.

Recommended for age 16 plus, Stranger Sings is definitely a no go for anyone unfamiliar with the show. Fans, however, are likely to love this zany affectionate mockery and be impressed too with some of Williams’ special effects.

Stranger Sings shows at St George’s Hall Friday 12th-13th January before continuing its UK tour: