(Seen at the Evening performance on 14th October 2014).
This show pulls
off the rare feat of making "The Book of Mormon" seem the height of
sophisticated wit, and "Springtime For Hitler" the pinnacle of good taste and
Two far-too-long hours of playing time (you also get 20 minutes to escape at
the interval - the monkey noticed at least a dozen doing so) are lifted for only
a few moments in act two, with a lunatic "Sit Down You're Rockin' The Boat"
tribute "Run Freedom, Run." Neither music nor lyric are up to that redoubtable
classic, mind, it's just that there's a brief flash of fun in an otherwise
Otherwise, the repugnant premise, which could have been redeemed by clever
writers into something hilarious, lands with a (literally) sickening thud. Every
"let's send ourselves up" cliché is ticked - and nothing is developed or
exploited. Perhaps Karis Jack as Little Sally escapes best, as her performance
was intentionally nauseating. Her foil, Officer Lockstock (Jonathan Slinger)
almost carries it too - though it was hard to tell whether his bored performance
was intentional or not.
For sure, the other leads fare less than well. Rosanna Hyland's Hope Cladwell
lacked comic timing, though sang pleasantly when the songs suited her voice.
Lover Bobby Strong (Matthew Season-Young) is clearly a strong musical theatre
actor, but needs a trip to 'nerd-school' to brush up. Established musical
theatre stars Cory English (Old Man Strong) and Jenna Russell (Penelope
Pennywise) simply should be elsewhere, still, a job is a job.
The younger members of the audience lapped up the steady diet of frankly
nasty violence, "gross out" and stale visual jokes that went out of fashion
years ago, and seemed to have a decent enough time.
Those over 30 were far less sure. The monkey was tempted to simply review
this show with the single word, "Piss." However, at the interval, a friend's
partner suggested an even better review, as it contains a very helpful
suggestion indeed, too. Her advice? "Piss Off." Pretty much the monkey's feeling