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Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
Theatre review: Wolfboy the Musical 
1st-Jul-2009 10:26 pm
tragicomedavatar
A slight variation on the usual disclaimer: This was a preview performance, as are all the handful of London shows. Wolfboy is actually opening properly at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.

So the second of my four consecutive nights at the theatre, and a choice not made for the most artistic of reasons. Yes, adaptor/director Russell Labey was the local newsreader when I was at university, and the comedy gold one Children In Need night as he tried to present while getting progressively, obviously more sloshed means I feel I owe him my support. But basically I trudged all the way to Turnham Green because the lovely Gregg Lowe is in this.


Then again, judging from the response to Lowe when I reviewed New Boy a couple of months ago, I'd probably be in a minority if I didn't go a bit funny over him. The good news is, considering how silly the show sounds on paper it's surprisingly good. I'm not familiar with the original play by Brad Fraser but I don't imagine the musical deviates from it that much. Bernie (Lowe) is a 17-year-old who on the surface has it all, but has recently attempted suicide. In the psychiatric hospital where he ends up he refuses to cooperate with the medical staff but instead strikes up a friendship with the boy in the next room, David (Paul Holowaty) who thinks he's a werewolf and frequently tries to bite people. The two strike up a plan to escape, as Bernie has his reasons for not wanting to go home to his older brother (Lee Latchford Evans. Yes, that Lee Latchford Evans. LeeFromSteps.)

It's a very, very confident production - you wouldn't have known from the performances that this was only the second public performance. They've put together an engaging 75-minute show and you do get involved in the characters. Some of what we find out about their pasts is stuff we've seen before, but part of David's backstory is quite genuinely shocking. The music actually works well with the story, although Leon Parris' songs don't have much variety and Holowaty's singing voice is, er, not the best. Although it's a moody piece there's a few laugh-out-loud moments, mostly provided by Katie Beard's deadpan nurse. The ending edged a bit too much into melodrama for me, but I like that they took the risks they did with it. And yes, Lowe and Holowaty strip down to their boxers so even if you don't like the play you probably won't mind.

Wolfboy the Musical by Brad Fraser, Russell Labey and Leon Parris is booking until the 4th of July at the Tabard Theatre, then from the 7th-31st of August at George Square Theatre 4, Edinburgh.
Comments 
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Jul-2009 09:29 am (UTC) - Re: *** DrunkenDead[alliteration]Dissertation ***
You've definitely jumped in the deep end with these alliteration dissertations, what with me seeing 4 shows in a row this week. Actually 5, Friday's is a double bill.

Are you going through the consonants in alphabetical order? You did B yesterday.
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Jul-2009 09:53 am (UTC) - Re: *** DrunkenDead[alliteration]Dissertation ***
Ah but then E wouldn't be alliteration - if you use a vowel it's assonance.
2nd-Jul-2009 08:12 am (UTC)
As my main and most interesting theatre correspondent on my blog, can I draw your attention to something coming at The New Theatre - a wonderful little theatre in Hampstead we've fallen in love with. Denise Van Outen is doing a show there on 27 July and we saw her In Never on a Sunday and thought she was fantastic. It's called Blondes.

James x
2nd-Jul-2009 09:32 am (UTC)
Thanks - for the compliment and the recommendation. That's a busy week for me but it's tempting, I like DVO (despite her seeming to genuinely lose her temper during Rent Remixed when nobody in the front row would do audience participation with her.)
2nd-Jul-2009 09:14 am (UTC)
Also we've just booked this and thought it would be right up your street as well :o)

James x

http://www.whatswrongwithangry.com/about.asp
2nd-Jul-2009 09:36 am (UTC)
Cheers, I've already booked that one, I'm going on the 4th of August.
2nd-Jul-2009 01:58 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
Sadly I can't get to see this, but just in case anyone's in any doubt I wish to reiterate that Mr Lowe is exceedingly droolworthy, so much so that it's probably a good thing I can't get to it, as I was close to needing the smelling salts when he divested himself of clothes in New Boy. kthxbai.
2nd-Jul-2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
I don't think it can be reiterated enough, Anonymous.
2nd-Jul-2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
And yes, Lowe and Holowaty strip down to their boxers so even if you don't like the play you probably won't mind.

Why must you torment me with things you know I won't make it in time to see?
2nd-Jul-2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
If it helps, the website says something about them hoping to film it once the run's over.
2nd-Jul-2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
It helps ... but nekkid men (or half nekkid ones) are much more fun in person than on film.
2nd-Jul-2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
True! Oh, you mean on stage...
3rd-Jul-2009 01:15 am (UTC)
Either way . . .
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