CAMERON MACKINTOSH presents

TONY MONOPOLYJOANNE REDMANMICHELE HOOPEREARL TOBIAS

HOPE AUGUSTUSJACKIE CRAWFORDMARK WHITEDAWN SPENCE



Direction, Book and Lyrics by ROBERT LONGDEN

Music by HEREWARD KAYE & ROBERT LONGDEN

Additional Lyrics by HEREWARD KAYE    Choreography by ANTHONY LAPSLEY

Photos © MICHAEL LE POER TRENCH                Rated by Jorge: + + + +


THE PLOT

In order to raise funds for St. Godrick’s Academy for Young Ladies, its Headmistress instructs her pupils to stage a show in the school’s swimming pool and the girls decide to put on a musical production of Herman Melville’s classic “Moby Dick”, where the Headmistress will play Captain Ahab. So, as the story goes, Ahab looses a leg to the title whale and after knowing that his wife has betrayed him, he returns to the sea. In his mind there’s only one thought, to find the whale and kill it. When his crew discovers that they are on a vengeance trip they decide to mutiny, but things don’t go as planned and soon they all face the monstrous Moby Dick.

A GUILTY PLEASURE

When this new musical comedy opened at the West End theatre critics savaged it, saying things like that the show glorified the gays. The truth is that this show is hardly conventional and takes a lot of liberties with Melville’s classic, but the result is a highly enjoyable musical. Better and much more interesting than CATS, it deserves to be such a big hit.

Although produced by Cameron Mackintosh, this isn’t one of those spectacular shows with rich sets and luxury costumes, by the contrary. The sets (that go over the stalls) are simple and very effective, with some genial ideas like the sea where one of the characters swims or the whale that devours the Captain. The costumes seem made of rags, with some crazy ideas, but are perfect for the spirit of the show.

As a huge fan of the traditional musicals scores I shouldn’t care for this modern score, but I’ve to confess that I believe it works very well on stage and there are one or two interesting songs. There’s an energy here that it’s missing from many new musicals.

What can I say about the cast? Every member of the company seems like he’s having the time of their lives and that fun is easily transferred to the audience. They all sing, dance, act and do drag (although the action takes place in a girl’s school, some of the girls are played by boys). It’s difficult to mention one or two actors, because this is really team work and they all do a terrific job.

 

Of course this is one of those shows that you can only hate or love, there’s no in between. I had a great time at the theatre and this is one of those guilty pleasures that I’ll always remember with a big smile. How can I forget a storm where it rains in the stalls or a second act opening with 3D shadows? If you like THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW this one is for you.

This has cult status written all over the place and I hope I’ll be able to see it again in the future. Just for fun don’t miss it!