C + 1
Plague! The Musical is one of the most ridiculous, outrageous, over the top and watchable pieces of new musical theatre I have seen in a long time. The bubonic plague is not the most obviously comedic event in history but the blend of music and exceptionally corny jokes makes this a Spamalot-esque joy to watch.
The fine cast give their all and the energy does not let up for a second as the story unfolds of Clive, an out of work actor who falls in with bad company and ends up getting blamed for kick-starting the plague. Silly stuff, but it serves as a suitable frame on which to hang a plethora of medieval witticisms. Special mention must go to leading lady Catriana Sandison whose strong singing voice is complemented by fine comic timing, while her opposite number Porl Matthews makes for an excellent, if slightly overly-camp Clive. And as the Alchemist (the father of Clive’s beloved), Robert Wainwright is beyond ridiculous but incessantly amusing.
Although a little long at 1hr 45mins, writers/directors Matthew Townsend and David Massingham capably ensure that this well-oiled machine remains slick, upbeat and energetic throughout. If you’re looking for a good laugh, some great singing, a generous smattering of ‘dad’ jokes and a talented ensemble having a whale of a time, you could do a lot worse than this.
- Helen Raw