Sun. Dec 8th, 2019

Popularity, The Different Palace – Evaluate

Squished into the studio house of The Different Palace, Popularity follows bold budding author Michelle Grant as she fights the comically evil plagiariser and El-Capone knockoff Freddy Larceny (see what they did there with the final identify?) who has stolen her novel and made it into successful movie. Little question there’s expertise and energy throughout the piece. Some pretty choreography from Tamsyn Salter gives the traditional enamel and jazz arms glamour that (some) musicals require and retains the piece ticking alongside properly. Uniformly well-acted, Popularity has some stand out performers that do their greatest with the restricted…

Ranking

Poor

Posed, well-choreographed and chirpy this story delves into the murky depth of the early years of the silver display however doesn’t handle to clear the waters.

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Squished into the studio
house of The Different Palace, Popularity follows bold budding author
Michelle Grant as she fights the comically evil plagiariser and El-Capone
knockoff Freddy Larceny (see what they did there with the final identify?) who has
stolen her novel and made it into successful movie.

Little question there’s expertise
and energy throughout the piece. Some pretty choreography from Tamsyn Salter
gives the traditional enamel and jazz arms glamour that (some) musicals require
and retains the piece ticking alongside properly. Uniformly well-acted, Popularity has some stand out performers that do their greatest with the
restricted palette supplied by the script. Lead Maddy Banks has a transparent as spring
water voice and is plausible (if annoying) because the younger ingénue. Jeremy Secomb’s baddy mixes each New York stereotype with a heavy dose of
Frank Sinatra and though a contact overdone, he does injects some much-needed
comedy. The refrain is slick and organised, and versatile with multi-rolling and
an imaginative use of costume.

However……regardless of how onerous
the forged pressure inside this piece the issues run deeper, darker and are unresolved
by including some vocal sparkle or an efficient Pirouette. Musicals these days are
beneath loads of strain to interrupt the mould in relation to plot and theme.
Sadly, Popularity is of that older ilk, desperately making an attempt to bend its storyline
to a extra fashionable message. There’s an try at a pseudo feminism message and
though simply scraping previous the Bechdel the “fortunately ever after ending” is
insipid and problematic. Michelle’s reliance on the boys in her life (father,
lawyer/lover) and her doe-eyed naivety undermines any overtly feminist message
the play tries to make. She (and the feminine refrain) declare that there’s extra to
life than marriage in a single track, after which spend the remainder of the piece
relentlessly looking for husbands, referring to them as “knights in shinning
amour” with a shade of irony to delicate for my ears. This view of Hollywood, the
1930s and even the plight of ladies fails to deliver something new to the desk and
come throughout as simplistic and reductive.

Musically the present is
equally center of the street, the songs are usually not dangerous however are over rhymed and
worryingly like some traditional musical theatre tunes. They do little to
differentiate the musical. The rhyming of “Paranoia” with “I’ll destroy her” is
a private favorite. The bones of the present are the place the issues lie, and
like theatrical arthritis, the issue permeates all through the entire night.

The 1930s have been a
troublesome time for feminine freedom (each artistic and private) and a musical that
so glibly offers with such a fancy situation is treading on skinny ice, made even
thinner by our present (and rightful) local weather of equality. Popularity is sadly just a bit out of step with a style that
has fortunately progressed past it.

Ebook, Lyrics and Music by: Alick Glass
Directed by: Warren Wills
Choreographer by: Tamsyn Salter
Field Workplace: 02070877900
Reserving Hyperlink: https://lwtheatres.co.uk/theatres/the-other-palace/
Reserving Till: 14 November 2019

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