Sedos’ new production of Urinetown is yet another example of why they should be considered one of the best amateur companies in London, if not the country.
Though generally considered a fringe musical, Urinetown is a bitingly satirical piece lampooning both the musical form and current capitalist politics alongside our approach to environmental care. Sedos handles the satire with brilliant care, ensuring every joke lands and every reference is hot on the money. Luke Leahy (Officer Lockstock) marvellously handles his role as the narrator with swiss-like comic timing. His central role guides the audience wonderfully through the plot, ensuring they never lose track of the fact that they are watching just that: a plot. Director Yojiro Ichikawa has coached the cast in the art of coarse acting to great effect; it’s so tongue-in-cheek that I couldn’t help giggling throughout.
Where many amateur productions are often propped up by a stand out solo performance, Sedos’ ensemble company are so cohesive it only adds to the evening’s value for money. Whilst their sheer dedication to the show must be commended, a big hand must go to veteran Sedos musical director Ryan Macaulay as the band are airtight. The vocal direction pushed the musical numbers to what can only be described as beyond professional standard.
“One of the best amateur companies in London, if not the country”
As with any musical, there are always standout roles and Urinetown’s principal cast all pull their own weight and more. Stereotypical hero Bobby Strong, played by Joe McWilliams, is perfectly matched by the sweet and almost Julie Andrews-like performance of Miranda Evans as Hope Gladwell. When it comes to villains, there’s no fault in Dan Saunders’ slick and greasy turn (with a hint of Peep Show’s David Mitchell) as Caldwell B. Gladwell, the megalomaniacal CEO of Urine Good Company.
There are simply no weak links to be found in this cast. I feared that having been so amazed by the company’s production of Pippin earlier in the year, I would be let down by Urinetown or would simply see the same bunch at it again. Thankfully, neither was the case. Urinetown is just as innovative, creatively staging the musical in the traverse and utilising a simple, yet superbly effective moving set (beautifully constructed and designed by Andrew Laidlaw).
I feel as though this review is slightly too glowing but honestly, it’s a struggle to find fault. For a show that charges under £20 per ticket, this is a superb night out with plenty of bang for your buck.
Urinetown is running at Bridewell Theatre until 1st December.
Tickets and more information can be found here.
Image: Paul Nicholas Dyke