Music/Lyrics: Mark Hollmann
Book/Lyrics: Greg Kotis
Director: Ken Alexander
Fresh from his success with the Fringe premiere of The Addams Family, director Ken Alexander returns with the MA Musical Theatre students from the Royal Scottish Conservatoire with the fringe premiere of the satirical musical Urinetown.
Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis’ musical delivers plenty to enjoy and gives a brilliant platform for the highly committed and talented cast from the RSC to shine.
Public amenities are being controlled by UGC (Urine Good Company), it now costs a lot to let your water flow freely… Peeing in bushes or in public is now a serious offence and can find you being sent to Urinetown to live out the rest of your life… When the rich of UGC start to increase the fee to pee towards the poorer areas of the city, a revolt starts to take place thanks to Bobby Strong’s impassioned vision for a better day. However we are already told this isn’t a happy musical and needless to say things don’t go down the happily ever after cliche avenue.
The show is extremely self-referential and aware of musical theatre devices and Ken Alexander brings out every drop of comedy from his young cast and utilises its clever stage design by Rich Evans to full affect. Musical director Dustin L Struhall conducts a rich sounding six piece band who execute the varied styles of musical numbers with aplomb.
As previously mentioned the whole cast are committed to the final breath and apart from catching one actress mouthing the words of another characters final speech they excel with faultless energy. Excellent performances are given from Graham Richardson as the enigmatic Bobby Strong, Jonathan Logan is delicious as the devilish boss of UGC Cladwell B Cladwell, while Joel Schaefer brings many laughs as the Officer Lockstock. Lauren Mayer is a cutesy Little Sally and credit must also be given to Jenny Hayley-Douglas who in a smaller ensemble rôle is throughly engaging and captivating.
But it is the performance from Alicia Barban as Hope Cladwell the steals the show, kooky, bright and pitch perfect in delivery and reminding this reviewer of a younger Lauren Samuels this is a west end leading lady in the making and I would bet my last dollar it won’t be long till we see more of this exceptionally talented young lady.
As musicals go Urinetown seriously takes the piss, and it’s worth every single penny spent.
Runs until 31st August 2015