Adam & Eve and Steve continues at the King’s Head Theatre, London until 29 April.
Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩
This frisky, oddly old-fashioned show (music by Wayne Moore; book and lyrics by Chandler Warren), did very well at Edinburgh last year and it’s easy to see why.
A five-hander with jolly songs (bo, it wittily explores gay experience through the template of the Adam and Eve story. The jokes are hilariously disrespectful of history and chronology. There’s even a half-hearted Donald Trump joke.
Joseph Robinson is a suitably innocent but warm Adam with a light tenor voice. It’s a rare pleasure, incidentally, to hear ‘straight’ unforced singing without mics.
Dale Adams, as Steve, flits about the stage smiling beatifically as a nicely exaggerated pleased-with-himself man created to ‘mate’ with Adam because Beelzebub (Stephen McGlynn – entertaining) subverts God’s plan.
Michael Christopher’s God is mostly offstage but vociferous until he appears to do a very funny old roués’ vaudeville boaters-and-sticks routine with McGlynn.
Hayley Hampson is sweet and rueful as Eve, waiting for God to invent sex and singing meanwhile in a pretty soprano.
Regional accents are to the fore in this show which somehow heightens the humour. Robinson uses his native Welsh accent and Hampson her Liverpudlian which contrasts nicely with Adams’ RP and Christopher’s basso patricican.
Each song is effective enough as it comes and goes – and Wayne Moore’s score ranges over a whole spectrum of styles from jazz to music hall and lyrical to patter. There is nothing remotely memorable here, though. It’s music which serves a purpose and then we move on.
At the heart of this show – beneath the jokes – is a serious exploration of love and relationships. Can we love two people equally? Is a gay relationship – which won’t generally populate the world – natural or acceptable? Some of the reflections are quite poignant. And it’s that refreshingly original balance which makes it a worthwhile 75 minutes of theatre, (directed and choreographed by Francesca Goodridge).