Victor/Victoria is the wonderful gender bending musical currently in production at London Bridge’s Southwark Playhouse.
The Little Dog Laughed is an excellent, well written play flitting between New York and LA, and tells the story of Mitchell (Rupert Friend), Diane (Tamsin Greig), Alex (Harry Lloyd) and Ellen (Gemma Aterton), satirising Hollywood and its attitudes towards its stars, their lovers and those that fall between
Megan Mullally & Supreme Music Program has descended onto the Vaudeville Theatre, the first time the lady from Will & Grace and her posse have performed outside of the United States. With a mixture of alternative jazz, rhythm n blues and swing, this songstress proves that she has more talents than meets the eye.
Take five talented Drag Queens, mix in a plethora of past and present Divas and you have ‘Drag Divas’, on at The Arts Theatre in the West End.
After a sold-out run last year, Above The Stag theatre have brought back the hugely successful “Bathhouse: The Musical”. For all those who missed it, and even for those who didn’t, Bathhouse is a welcome return, and it’s even better.
Innocent Billy is new to the scene and hopes to fall in love, having just moved to London. We meet him as he visits the bathhouse for the first time, guided by the omnipresent vocals of narrator Gyles Brandreth.
However, he quickly finds out that most of the patrons aren’t really there for love, but something a little more temporary, and his journey unfolds over a host of catchy musical numbers with plenty of nudity, making for a smashingly entertaining evening.
Director Tim McArthur, also a cast member, has worked hard at improving Bathhouse over the past few months. The show has more depth and packs a bigger emotional punch this time round – quite impressive considering the subject matter, especially “Lonely Love Song” which genuinely sends chills running up and down your body.
Writers Tim Evanicki and Esther Daack freely admit this is no “Les Mis” or “Miss Saigon” and are wholeheartedly aware of their target audience, so it is a no-holds-barred two hours of tantalising titillation, without becoming too salacious. With their new changes, and some topical ad-libs from the cast, “Bathhouse” is clearly another winner for ATS.
The casting is also perfect, with every member (of cast) taking charge and making sure every last ounce of humour is squeezed from the lively script, and it is great to see half the cast reprising their roles, like Matthew Harper who once again muscles his way into your memory, and Ryan Lynch, returning to the lead role of Billy. His already strong voice has improved immensely, and it is he (and he alone) who sings the incredibly touching aforementioned “Lonely Love Song”. The whole cast sing the number at the end, which has been recorded and can be bought at the box office or on iTunes, and reminds you that it’s not all about men in towels as these boys can sing! Really sing.
Other stand-out songs are gospel-inspired “Hottie Revival”, toe-tapping “Christmas At The Baths” and the gloriously titled “Penises Are Like Snowflakes”. “Bathhouse” will have you humming the tunes long after you’ve seen the show, and is thoroughly recommended. As mentioned in a previous review, don’t expect Chekhov but do expect a truly fun evening with more than just a smile being flashed. Sit in the middle for a truly memorable experience.
“Bathhouse: The Musical” in on at Above The Stag theatre until 29th March.
Photos: Derek Drescher
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