Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Betwixt! the Musical: Theatre Review

Betwixt! Was first premiered at London Fringe back in 2008 with a concert following later that year, since then the show has been under some transformations and has most recently been adapted for the unique space, Trafalgar Studios 2. The show consist of a writer with writers block, his gay roommate, a head of a German Woman and plenty other fantasy characters! The show follows the story of Bailey (The Writer) and his journey to find a story for his long awaited new Novel and how he gets transported to an Enchanted Kingdom where he has to find the way to conquer The Enchantress and stop her completing her evil plan. Yes, I probably thought the same as you when reading the synopsis for the show, "What the f@#k is this?!" But actually, it's pure brilliance!
I was hoping the show was going to be amazing, but I had a strong feeling it was going to fail with the space it's in and the strange storyline. I was proven wrong! Ian McFarlane has done a great job writing this musical, its genius. Trafalgar Studios 2 was the perfect venue for this show, the intimacy of the space was part of the experience. The only fault I could find about the staging was having the band at the back, often they looked bored and looking like they were wishing they were someplace else however there wouldn't be anywhere else for them to go!
The simple set was effective and costumes were also impressive for a show of its size and I would say that the cast were the best thing about this show. Benedict Salter was cute and sweet as Bailey, with Steven Webb supporting him in the fabulously camp role of Cooper Fitzgerald, also played great. Ashleigh Gray performed Miranda brilliantly, with Peter Duncan also being a nice addition to the cast.
The small ensemble (Alyssa Nicol, Rob Wilshaw, Will Hawksworth and Kelly Chinery) were also great and pulled the show together. But the star of the show was Lizzie Roper, having the challenge of playing three roles (The Princess, Nymph Queen and the Enchantress). She succeeds in playing all the roles completely different and each played fantastically. Being in such a small, intimate space is always a difficult thing for actors to do but all were fantastic. Honestly, I couldn't fault it. The show is exactly what it says on the programme- A Funny Musical!

"Don't ask too many questions- Just go with it"

Rating: ****

Betwixt! Ran at the Trafalgar Studios from 26thJuly to 10thSeptember

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