TIMPSON – THE MUSICAL
Book & Lyrics by Sam Cochrane & Chris Barber.
Music by Theo Caplan & Tom Slade.
King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QN to 9 March 2019.
Mon – Sat 9.15pm
Runs 65 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 0207 226 8561
Review: William Russell 19 February.
A shoo in of a show
This amusing, tuneful and inventive musical arrives garlanded with stars from last year’s Edinburgh Festival fringe. If this was the best of the bunch then heaven knows what the competition was like, but that said it is daft, funny and performed with admirable energy by a talented cast. The sum of the parts is, nevertheless, infinitely better than the whole.
The title refers to the well known shoe repairing and key cutting chain of shops and the plot, lifting elements from Romeo and Juliet, is set in Victorian England where the Montashoes and the Keypulets are at war over winning the annual invention competition. Monty Montashoe (a bouncy Madeleine Gray) meets Keeleigh Keypulet (Sabrina Messer singing rather well) and love duly blossoms, while their respective parents – Lady Montashoe (Rachel Chamer) and Master Keypulet (James Stirling) – wage war prior to a merger between shoes and keys. To help things along Sam Cochrane and Alex Prescot play pretty well every thing and one else ranging from a talking portrait, two dogs and a couple of fishermen who, while angling in the Thames, discover, as they share a rod, that there is more to life than fish.
The trouble is that the plot, such as it is, disappears amid the general hilarity, and production that can best be called slapdash, so that apart from wondering what insanity they will get up to next there is not all that much to sustain interest and the denoument can be seen coming a mile off. It also all gets a bit unrelentingly determined to amuse and is arguably the sort of show that seems better after a couple of pints or a Bacardi and coke. However the music is bright and gay, the cast fizzes with energy, and Messrs Prescot, the winsome one, and Cochrane, the lugubrious one, are a joy to behold as they forget the pleasures of the riverbank and have a merger of their own.
Timpson deserves its after life in Islington but- and I am not putting the boot in so to speak – a director with no vested interest in the show who was capable of shaping things properly would have been a good idea. Then it could have been a real shoo in of a show.
Monty Montashoe: Madeleine Gray.
Keeleigh Keypulet: Sabrina Messer.
Master Keypulet: James Stirling.
Lady Montashoe: Rachel Chamer.
Man 1: Alex Prescot.
Man 2: Sam Cochrane.
Directors: SamCochrane & Chris Baker.
Designer: Doug Caims.
Lighting Designer: Danny Vavrecka