book by Amy Rosenthal and Claudio Macor music by Duncan Walsh Atkins and Adam Meggido from a play by Claudio Macor.

Arts Theatre 6-7 Newport St WC2H 7JB To 6 April 2013.
Mon–Fri 7.30pm Mat 2.30pm Thu & Sat.
Runs 2hr One interval.

TICKETS: 020 7836 8463.
Review: Francis Grin 22 February.

The Roaring Twenties hit the West End.
World War One had just ended, consumerism was at its height and in the near future loomed one of the greatest economic depressions of all time. With this, ‘The Roaring Twenties’ marks an era of both excitement and uncertainty, as America was itching to ditch its corset and slip into something looser. expresses a country that aches to find stability between new and old as we explore the story of William Haines, an MGM actor ostracised from the business owing to his homosexuality. Though a little turbulent at times, this production offers food for thought and an entertaining evening.

Dylan Turner plays William Hayes with wit and swagger, keeping us laughing with subtle sexual innuendos that comically go unnoticed by those around him. His partner, Jimmy Shields, is played by Bradley Clarkson, who injects the role with a loving innocence, making him highly endearing to watch. These performers, both very strong, unfortunately lack chemistry on stage and often look a little uncomfortable together. Regardless, we can see why this relationship carried the force it did.

This cast is further strengthened with ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’ regular Mike McShane as Louis B. Mayer, and ex-member of international pop group Steps Faye Tozer, playing Marion Davies. McShane hits the nail on the head in his comedic depiction of the major power figure Mayer; ozer, though a little off-key at times, has a quirky charisma which effortlessly demands attention.

The dialogue remains a little shaky, as writers Amy Rosenthal and Claudio Macor hardly shy away from throwing some true cheese into play, especially during romantic scenes between Hayes and Shields. The cliché are especially pushed when Hayes, in his romantic joy, gives yet another watch to Shields to remind them that they ‘have time’ (for love). Still, what the dialogue lacks is made up for with an upbeat score by Duncan Walsh Atkins and Adam Meggido. Tunes such as ‘Another Party’ are especially catchy and stick with you long after the show.

Regardless of the stumbles here and there, this will certainly satisfy those looking for a fun evening out.

William Haines: Dylan Turner.
Jimmy Shields: Bradley Clarkson.
Older Jimmy: Clive Ward.
Marion Davies: Faye Tozer.
Louis B. Mayer: Mike McShane.
Howard Strickling: Matt Wilman.
Victor Darro: Michael Cotton.
Miss Carey: Lauren Grant.
Betsy Dawson: Vivien Carter:
Pola Negri: Kay Murphy.
with Michael Cotton, Edward French, Holly Easterbrook, Lauren Grant, Vivien Carter, Kay Murphy, Nikola Trifunovic, Matt Wilman.

Director: Claudio Macor.
Designer: Sophia Simensky.
Lighting: Humphrey McDermott.
Sound: Tom Marshall.
Musical Director: Duncan Walsh Atkins.
Choreographer: Nathan M Wright.
Dialect coach: Rick Lipton.
Fight directors: Ruth Cooper-Brown, Andrew Young.
Associate lighting: Howard Hudson.
Assistant choreographer: Claira Vaughn.

2013-03-05 16:29:43

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