Nick Le Mesurier reviews
The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) at the Talisman Theatre,
Kenilworth Musicals are nothing
if not done over the top. And The Musical of Musicals is
gloriously, charmingly, cleverly, hilariously over the top.
It's a series of five short parodies / homages to the great
musicals of our time. Oklahoma, Evita, Phantom, Cabaret
and many, many more are all there.
It could be an awful mess,
but it's not. The script is sharp, the jokes are fast, the
music is divine, and the cast - well the cast are just brilliant.
They sing, they dance, they perform with gusto. It's huge
fun, and I left the theatre with my eyes wet from laughing.
I haven't done that in a while.
Each of the five scenes follow
the same basic plot. June (Kim Arnold) is an ingenue who
can't pay the rent she owes to her lascivious landlord Jidder
(Kenny Robinson). In lieu of rent he is prepared to accept
certain favours from June, but thankfully her hero boyfriend
Willy (Kevin Wing) is on hand to help. Only he hasn't any
money either. Still, there's always worldly advice to be
had from Mother Abby (Val Whitlock).
The humour is dark, sometimes
very dark. The scenes stretch from the wide-open plains
of Kansas to a dank and dreary New York apartment filled
with hopeless artists. There's a high society ball and a
palace; and there's a deliciously decadent cabaret. And
all done on a virtually bare stage, supported by the witty
and eloquent musicality of Liam Walker.
For all its natural flamboyance
this is theatre in the raw. It's marvellous fun and thoroughly