Starved of a good musical? Then this splendid Finborough production based on Elmer Rice’s play is just the thing to satisfy your appetite. I gave it four stars when it was presented at the Finborough in October 2016 and there is no reason to change that verdict.
The musical, first seen in 2007, is quirky, stimulating, well performed and has a fine score with some terrific ballads. It is the story of Mr Zero who is replaced after 25 years of loyal service by an adding machine, That may be what relaced people when Price wrote his play, but the substitution of machine for man is even more relevant today in the on line age of smart phones and computers.
Joseph Alessi is a stalwart, long suffering zero, Kate Milner-Evans does the full Joan Crawford as his nagging wife and there is a stand out turn from Ed Campbell Bird as a baby faced killer. The musical does full justice to Price’s satire about the advent of machines and adds its own bite to the story. This is one with a plot that sets one thinking and there are precious few musicals that do that.
Cast list and credits are with the original review.
It is available to watch free on the theatre’s You Tube site or on Screensaver. But donations are welcome.
Photograph: Tristram Kenton.