Drunk continues at the Bridewell Theatre, London until 1 March, then tours.
Director/choreographer Drew McOnie’s first foray into a bold new world where dance elements are as strong as the music in musical theatre is a real success. Structuring movement, scenes and songs around a conceptual plot, this revue style show – a world premiere from the new McOnie Company – has the audience engaged and giggling along for the duration.
The main character is Ice – a rather staid, soul-searcher (played by Gemma Sutton) who interacts with a variety of characters until she frees herself by melting into water in a sort of coming-of-age narrative.
Performed alongside a live jazz band in a cleverly chosen venue, the Bridewell Theatre (steering clear of a space with known genre-specific connotations such as Sadler’s Wells or the Arts) there is an air of sass in this symphonic watering hole.
Ashley Andrews – an outstanding dancer – plays Scotch in a tender duet with Rum (Fela Lufadeju), as two soldiers meet on a beach at the end of the war. Lucinda Lawrence gives a great character performance as ageing actress Vodka, paranoid and confused, while Katy Lowenhoff’s fizzy role of Champagne bubbles with Fosse-style moves.
Anabel Kutay is an alluring Absinth and Simon Hardwick a sweet and reliable Cider. Daniel Collins stands out for his physical finesse as well as his comic panache. Then there are the shots, a Jack-the-lad gang of rowdy Essex lads, or Pimms, the yah-ing Chelsea types who play rugger, quaff their drinks and row each other around the stage in a hilarious skit.
The entire cast is as skilful as they are sexy and some of the songs (with music lyrics and by Grant Olding) will remain as earworms for a long while after the show has finished. Just as Ice melts on stage, so the audience heats up in the auditorium for this wonderful collaboration which is touring the UK and will hopefully hit a bigger London stage sometime soon.
Readers may also be interested in:
Drunk with Drew McOnie – Interview
Chicago – Leicester Curve – Review