Urinetown is a strange show. It is a show that realises that it is a show. It is a show that understands that it has a ridiculous title that could put an audience off. It is a show that does not take itself too seriously. But most importantly, it is a show that is jam-packed full of comedy and innuendo. To stage a musical in itself is not an easy task, but a comedy musical can be in some cases impossible, but SEDOS rose to that challenge and took it by the toilet rolls!
SEDOS have created a fantastic production, very cleverly staged in the round and with minimal set which allows for a very fluid production that keeps incredible pace throughout. The direction by Yojiro Ichikawa was fantastic, getting the most out of his cast and theatre, using every possible entrance to make sure the audience is pulled into the show.
The Musical Direction by Ryan Macaulay was equally as impressive, with a great sound being produced by the band alongside flawless harmonies from the cast. The powerhouse of voices created a purely superb resonance with apparent ease; a delight to the ears of the audience.
The ensemble was fantastic, each creating their own character to play, again helping the audience to feel part of the experience.
Urinetown is a special musical, as it has a fairly large principal cast, with an abundance of things to do for everyone involved. In that sense, it would be impossible to list everyone that shone, as that would require mentioning the entire cast by name.
The romantic pairing of Bobby and Hope are played superbly by Joe McWilliam and Miranda Evans. Their chemistry on stage is fantastic and their vocals together were phenomenal, creating angelic harmonies in Follow Your Heart. Together they created a realistic love arc to follow.
Luke James Leahy as Officer Lockstock was a revelation. Somehow he managed to create a villain that was somewhat lovable through his excellent comic timing and superb interactions with both the cast and the audience. The Cop Song was a highlight with its flawless and clever choreography.
The production was somewhat let down however by sound and lighting. There were more than several times when the faces of the performers couldn’t be seen due to badly positioned lighting. Also, on many occasions, it was difficult to hear the superb cast over the band.
However, it must be stated that this is a superb production of a very clever and funny show, performed impeccably by a phenomenal cast. It is just a shame that at some points they couldn’t be seen or heard.
Urinetown is at the Bridewell Theatre, EC4Y 8EQ, until 1 December.
Review: Joshua Thompson
Photo: Paul Nicholas Dyke