Book & lyrics by Marcus Stevens Music by Oran Elder
The Charing Cross Theatre, The Arches, Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NL to 24 November 2018.
Mon – Sat 7.30pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm.
Runs 90 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 0844 930 650.
Review: William Russell 8 October.
A terrific but earsplitting rock musical about a trip to the Underworld
One does at times wonder, especially with an ear splitting musical like this, whether sound designers get paid by the decibel. It is tuneful, the lyrics, when one can make the words out over the noise being generated, are amusing and the cast perform with great style. Director and choreographer Sarah O’Gleby has put it all together very well indeed but she really should have curbed the sound – it really does make it less of a delight than it should have been. Twiddling the knob to turn down the volume would have meant a whole extra star.
The plot is simple. Wild child Persephone, daughter of Demeter, rebels and ends up in the Underworld where she cheers everyone up, introduces gardening in the dark, and acquires Hades as her husband. This upsets Demeter no end and after various shenanigans involve Zeus, who is daddy to everyone it seems, and a rather predatory Aphrodite, things are resolved. Demeter, the goddess of the earth, does not wreak havoc and Persephone arranges to return to the world for six months of the year – hence the seasons.
It is daft, but it is very amusing and the playing is sparkling. Daniella Bowen is a tuneful and statuesque Demeter and Georgie Westall makes a spritely wild child intent on getting her own way. There is a nicely harried Zeus from Tim Oxbrow, a gloriously camp Hades from Michael Mather and a hard as nails Aphrodite from Genevieve McCarthy as well as a very hard working and good ensemble. But the sound really does sabotage things. A little less noise and the melodies would thrive, the words would be heard and the shouting, which at times replaces singing, would cease.
I am no great fan of stars but a fourth one would have been awarded if only it had all been played a little more quietly.
Zeus: Tim Oxbrow.
Demeter: Daniella Bowen.
Hades: Michael Mather.
Persephone: Georgie Westall.
Aphrodite: Genevieve McCarthy.
Ensemble: Ben Lancaster, Ben Welch, Courtney Groganb Smalley, Eloise Davies, Jade Marvin, Jamie Ross, Leo Sene.
Director & Choreographer: Sarah O’Gleby.
Set &Costume Designer: Lee Newby.
Lighting Designer: Jamie Platt.
Sound Designer: Andrew Johnson.
Musical Director: Chris Ma.