Blurring the lines of contemporary dance and musicals, Wait For Me, could be the kickstart to a new genre in British performance. It has many successes, for example, its ranged outlets of expression including: dance, singing and instrumental interludes. However, despite its elegance and talented cast, it has the danger to be indifferent from other musicals and stories that have come before it; due to its predictable narrative.
The story of two lovers, played by Chrissy Brooke and Jaih Betote, and their life together is met with the concept of unearthly beings, played by Clarice Lanta Lilly and Ainsley Ricketts, who contribute to representing their assigned being’s thoughts and guide them towards their soulmate; each other. This idea is playful in the first few moments, and frames the classic love story well. All of the dancing cast are to be commended for their incredible talent and execution of the choreography. Their movements combine elements of street dancing, such as body popping, as well as contemporary and ballet. The musicality of Sam Cassidy, Will Vaughan and Ricketts are genius; with the narrative, choreography and music pairing beautifully. Also, to be recognised are the wonderful singers, Eloise Davies and Bluey Robinson who bring to life the emotions portrayed in the choreography.
It seems its biggest flaw is at the heart of the show, the story. Though it is executed well, it seems mundane. From love, to loss, to death, there aren’t many twists or turns that meet this story, which dare I say, could make it forgettable. It seems I could name many other shows and stories that meet the same criteria. At a time in theatre where we are needing, more than ever, to hear untold stories, it is hard to justify the question of ‘why this story’? We have been presented with stories of love and loss between heterosexual and cis couples, so perhaps adding a deeper dynamic to the lover’s narrative would bring more anticipation.
Overall, Wait For Me, has definitely opened up doors to a new genre of musical, and is absolutely one to watch to appreciate the talent and dedication of performing artists at this time. Recorded over lockdown, this production has exceeded the limitations of not being able to perform to a live audience, and is available to stream. Let this remind us of the importance to support the arts during this hard time.
Link to the Fb page here
Review: Isabelle Tyner