Tick, Tick … Boom!
Opening Night – 8th May 2017
“Chris Jenkins as Jon delivers every emotion perfectly”
Tick, Tick … Boom! is Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical rock based musical set in New York in 1990. Originally a solo work and then adapted posthumously for three actors, it looks at how Jonathan (Chris Jenkins) deals with turning thirty, rejection both of his work and by his girlfriend Susan (Gillian Saker) and his relationship with his childhood friend, Michael (Jordan Shaw).
Set intimately in Park Theatre 90, the audience is always very close to the action feeling at times as though you are actually sat in that perfectly styled Soho flat (design by Nik Corrall).
The show starts with Jon sat in his flat and a ticking sound which he states is not a technical fault – this turns out to be slightly ironic as the first part of the show was dogged by some sound issues with vocals drifting and being lost.
The accomplished cast work well together with Saker and Shaw also effortlessly handling half a dozen or so minor roles. Chris Jenkins is a very believable Jon with a warm and charismatic approach he delivers every emotion perfectly.
Musical numbers are accompanied by a strong four piece band led by Gareth Bretherton. Ranging from witty digs at New York’s social climbers in ‘Sunday’ to powerful solo ballads such as ‘Come to Your Senses ‘ (sung beautifully by Gillian Saker).
Inevitably, there are a few tunes that seem very ‘Rent’ like (which isn’t a bad thing at all) and there are other similarities too; the New York setting, artistic crowd and the shadow of AIDS. Yet this is a very different show to Rent, by its autobiographical nature, it feels more believable.
Apart from the sound issues and a wobbly chair threatening to topple Chris Jenkins into the audience (oh, and (geek alert) an out of place BT telephone handset in a 90s New York apartment) – this is a brilliant production of the lesser known Larson work. Bronagh Lagan’s direction, Nik Corrall’s design and Ben Roger’s lighting have brought a magic spark to the show making it ninety minutes that fly by leaving you wanting more.
Funny yet sad, powerful yet delicate, Tick! Tick! … Boom is one to see.
PRODUCTION IMAGES BY CLAIRE BILYARD
Tick! Tick! … Boom!
is at the Park Theatre until 27th May