Saturday, 19 February 2011

Undertakers, Andalucia and Threepenny Opera - Make Me a Musical

This week I had the pleasure of seeing "Showstoppers - The Musical" at The Ambassadors Theatre. The concept is simple - the audience shout out a setting, a time period, and some types of music; the actors then need to create a musical around that (with occasional audience input to decide what should happen at certain eventful plot points). The whole ensemble is coordinated by the "director" who can stop the events on stage and make his own suggestions, to keep everything on track. Or to torment his fellow actors.

Anyone familiar with "Whose Line is it Anyway" will instantly recognise the concept. If you want to see the musical "we" came up with click here.  The actors were incredibly impressive, and the songs were funny and totally in keeping with musical styles. My personal favourite moments were when the actors got caught out; for example one was playing a main character but in one scene where he wasn't needed he provided the sound and motion of a kettle (it made sense, trust me) when suddenly his character was needed on the opposite side of the stage. Looking to the audience he crept off to the side, ran around the back of the set and appeared, in his appropriate hat, on the opposite side of the stage. The director then stopped the action and said, "I'd like to see that again." The look on that guy's face was a picture as he had to run all the way back to repeat his discreet exit.

If you normally don't like musicals this is one worth seeing, as it's more about improvisation and is great fun. There's no intermission and the pace is kept up throughout. The performances are stellar and it really feels like you're part of the experience. For more information click here or watch the video below. I fully encourage everyone to support this small production. The big fish could learn a lot from them.

No comments:

Post a Comment