Sunday, 18 June 2017

REVIEW: Holy Crap at the Kings Head Theatre

The Heather brothers are back and this time, in contrast to their coming of age angst in ‘A Slice of Saturday Night’ they bring to you sex, drugs and Christianity in one package with a bow of blasphemy on top. 

The King’s Head Theatre is Islington is the venue of choice for the world premier of ‘Holy Crap’; a new musical that follows GOD TV a subscriptions service which is popular stateside but doesn’t pick up ratings in Godless Britain when the production team bring it over. That’s when Bobby Del Le Ray (John Addison) has the great idea of spicing things up by adding sex into the mix. This is all because the team behind GOD TV, Clarissa and Vinnie (Rachel Marwood and Nuno Queimado, respectively) are using it as a money laundering scheme with mafia connections but this information is kept from the other members of the team, Destiny and Rex (Letitia Hector and Arvid Larsen) and they need to find a way to convince the pair before the whole thing unravels. 

Although this isn’t contextually the most sophisticated show around and compared to their other hit, this show lacks the same intellectual humour instead falling back on the crass and blue side of things to get the laughs. The cast get more and more naked and a lot of the choreography relies on hip thrusting, grinding and gyrating with a lot of repetition. The direction is minimal and unimaginative with uneven sound balance making some things said and sung inaudible. 

It’s clear the cast are the strongest part of this performance. However in this cast there are two stand out performances: Rachel Marwood is comedy gold and purely hilarious. Her adaptation of Clarissa is superb; she constantly engaged in what’s going on in the piece and you can see she has thought out every moment of how to bring that character to life. There isn’t a moment when you’re not watching her to see what Clarissa will do next. Letitia Hector’s character, Destiny is painted the nay sayer as she reluctantly gets involved with X rated shenanigans. Her vocals stand out as some of best in the cast. The powerful voice eats up the score easily and adds a sorely missing heart to the script. 
A special mention goes to both Peter Bindloss and Emma Salvo for scene
stealing and making every moment they are on stage a joy to watch. In particular the receptionist, Victoria was a delight. 

In a time when musicals are being more and more risqué, Holy Crap isn’t a front runner. When compared to other musicals of a similar ilk, Book of Mormon or example, the unintellectual script and repetitious score falls flat and relies of the performers to carry it through. 

Holy Crap runs until 8th of July at the brilliant King’s Head Theatre in Islington. 

Review by James-Lee Campbell

Rating: ★★
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