(seen at the afternoon performance on 13th January 2018)
Everybody's talking about Jamie? Not true. The monkey is babbling incoherently,
sobbing occasionally and gesticulating anybody within range towards the box
This tale of self-discovery and actualisation is blisteringly honest,
searingly moving, sizzling with emotional and hormonal energy and pulsating with
the hugest and most original heart in London, bar none.
Gillespie Sells and
MacRae create perfect, credible music and lyrics for characters ranging from
school kids to single parents to retired and present drag artistes. Kate Prince
has them moving on a fabulously gliding Anna Fleischle set.
participants, leading man John Macrae (Jamie New) has all the bluster, self
belief and vulnerability of 16. Mother Josie Walker (Margaret New) stops the
show twice. Her "If I Met Myself Again" (danced by Kirstie Skivington and
Marvyn L. Charles) had the monkey in mid-show tears for the
first time since "Once" more than 5 years ago. Her later "He's My Boy" is
delivered as a hymn to motherhood, another dazzling moment.
work in the smaller roles too. Mentor Ken Christiansen (Hugo) has a lovely
moment with "The Legend of Loco Chanelle" (as crazy as she sounds). Friend Lucie
Shorthouse (Pritti Pasha) gets the beautiful "It Means Beautiful," a
fabulous final speech to bring the house down - and a
bedroom lamp she should probably steal at some point. Tamsin Carroll (Miss Hedge)
does a lovely job trying to control the unruly mob, and drag team Alex Anstey (Laika
Virgin), James Gillan (Tray Sophisticay) and an uncredited at this performance
Sandra Bollock are the best. A beautiful "warm up" moment drew an unforgettable
"yes, that's how we do it" from someone sitting a few rows behind the monkey,
The story is compelling, the music moves things
along at a pace emotions hardly keep up with. It did everything for it that
"Hamilton" really didn't. The whole thing just punches and punches and punches
again, every single emotional button across the range. The whole is a learning
experience with the ultimate message that there is nothing brave in being
yourself in life - the bravery is leading life as yourself.
Really, really, do
not miss this.