Reviewed – 23rd July 2019
“just about every one of the songs was catchy, cleverly composed and brilliantly witty”
Nothing makes you feel more inadequate than parenthood. You have a successful day, go to bed feeling good about yourself and wake up to a child telling you that they’ve just stuck a marble in their ear. So going to see a musical revue all about parenthood, would either leave me in hysterical laughter at other people’s misfortunes, or bring back that nervous twitch.
This brand new original show has music, text and lyrics all written by Kent based couple Emily and Pete Moody, Emily also directs. The show comprises of about twenty five scenes delivered in either sketch form or musical number. The subject matter starts with pregnancy, moves rapidly to delivery and runs through notable landmarks up to when the children leave home for university.
The small stage at The Space was decorated with about a dozen large building block cubes, coloured sheets and a cot. The sheets were imaginatively used and the cubes provided good height when seating was required. Sound was well timed and all musical numbers were delivered to a backing track. Costumes were nicely thought out with bright primary colours and occasional bursts into fancy dress.
On this opening night, there were a few technical issues with feedback from a speaker and a few of the actors microphones seemed to stop working. This meant that they lost projection and the sound levels had balancing issues, I hope these are easily resolved. Scene changes I found to be a little clunky, with the stage going to sometimes prolonged blackout whilst blocks were moved and cast members changed, I feel it would be worth investigating if this could be done another way to add a bit more continuity to the piece.
A lot of this play is very funny and yet interestingly, I found that some of the spoken sketches fell a little flat, although the scene with parents reading a school report whilst a teacher translated what he really meant, was utterly hilarious. However, this show really comes alive with the musical numbers. Each of the nine strong ensemble had an excellent voice and just about every one of the songs was catchy, cleverly composed and brilliantly witty. Personal highlights were the school playground number, well observed, insightful and a lovely touch from the lone dad. An amusing song from a sleep deprived mother, a high-kicking pair of grandparents and a beautifully poignant song from a mum expressing her thoughts to her late mother, a lovely change of pace and delivered incredibly naturally.
I feel that Fluffy Top Productions are on to something here, it needs a bit of tightening up and a little re-writing, but it went down very well with the audience and has a lot of highlights.
I finally feel that a big shout-out needs to go out to all the cast for putting such energy into their performances on a quite frankly, absurdly hot summer evening.
Reviewed by Chris White
The Space until 27th July
Previously reviewed at this venue: