WALLOP MRS COX: Music and Lyrics, Laurie Hornsby, Book, Euan Rose
Birmingham Hippodrome: www.birminghamhippodrome.com
Runs: 2h 35m, one interval, till 12 June
Review: Alexander Ray: 8 June 2010
Joyous as ever.
It was 2002 when ReviewsGate carried a reviewed of a new community commission at Birmingham Rep – WALLOP MRS COX. Now it returns . . . this time on stage at one of the country’s busiest touring theatres, the Birmingham Hippodrome; as friendly, as joyous, as positive as ever.
WALLOP tells the story of Emily Cox; born in Birmingham, she married and became a trader in the famous Bullring (some say Bull Ring) market. She died aged 99 – this tour through her life celebrates her spirit and chronicles the changes she saw – not the least of which were three completely different manifestations for the market itself. Two things leap out from this story – change is constant and remarkable people can be found in remarkable places; for anyone who knows it, the Bullring Market is remarkable.
The score is comfortable and easy-going with some terrific ensemble numbers – in particular REDFERN’S TRIPE, and THE NEW SKYLINE. Other high spots include UNCLE ERNIE and TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY. And I couldn’t possibly miss out the ensemble biggie BIRMINGHAM. Beverley Norris-Edmunds’s choreography is sharp and lively and John Adams directs this huge company with a sure hand, wit and verve.
Excellent to see this show at the Hippodrome – which has, in fact, a wide-ranging programme. Birmingham is the brunt of many jokes elsewhere in the UK; Birmingham citizens know what the city’s really like – WALLOP MRS COX captures the city and reflects it back to us. Sit in this audience – it’s party time.
Director: John Adams
Choreographer: Beverley Norris-Edmunds
Musical Director: Alan Warner
Set Design: Elroy Ashmore
Fight Choreographer: Kaitlin Howard
AV Designer: Paul James
Sound Designer: Gareth Owen
Assistant Musical Director: Richard Toomer
Assistant Director: Kirsteen Wray
Assistant Choreographer: Wesley Rowe