We spent the night experiencing Thoroughly Modern Musical. It was a well-staged production that clearly showed a lot of love and effort. The set was stripped back with an industrial feel. The lights were highlighting the themes and tones of each show with simple colours and uplighting to compliment the staging. It created a different atmosphere that was refreshing. Songs started from many different directions and sometimes from within the audience which added a different flavour and style to the show straight away.
The band were highlighted on the main part of the stage which was great to see as they did an amazing job, moving from song to song with different styles. They played each number with enjoyment that was infectious and clear to see in the audience. Brilliantly led my Peter Nicholson they tackled difficult numbers with a variety of full band and stripped back numbers.
The soloists were well suited to their given songs and it certainly made us consider musicals to see in the future (including some we hadn’t heard of beforehand!). It was lovely to see some new faces and some frequent favourites. A welcome and congratulation to new faces Mia and Sophie who showed us how different vocal styles both rocky and more traditionally musical theatre belong on the riverside stage with ‘I’d rather be me’ from Mean girls and ‘Legally Blonde’ from Legally Blonde. We hope they are here to stay. A surprise came from new performers Liam with ‘You’ll be back’ from Hamilton which showed evolving flair and Harry with ‘Objects in the rearview mirror’ from Bat out of hell and ‘Legally Blonde’ which showed such feeling for a new performer. Congratulations to these gentlemen who have previously hidden backstage or in the tower, we hope they don’t hide away in future.
Kudos should be given to the simple yet effective costuming where everyone wore the same black base with suggestions of details which helped convey the style without going over the top. Some costume sharing in the form of a simple jacket helped create continuity. In some cases, a simple ruff or hat added the detail needed and in others more complex details with a full Arthurian outfit completed the look.
A show that was unlike any other musical reviews we have seen with audience participation and a surprise hello was just the thing to help bring modern musicals to Eynsford. We would happily attend the sequel!