‘Performed with gusto by the whole cast’: LIBERTY RIDES FORTH – Waterloo East Theatre ★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Shanine SalmonLeave a Comment

Waterloo East Theatre, London – 21 October 2018
Guest reviewer: Jac Bradley

This new musical, presented at the Waterloo East Theatre, is performed with gusto by the whole cast, all of whom are in fine voice.

The problems start and end with the story – a musical about a struggling writer, battling to finish a novel whilst dealing with an unrequited love for a work colleague. It is a story that has been seen before, many times. The geeky protagonist, who enjoys internet cat videos and World of Warcraft, is down in the dumps because he can’t talk to girls. He laments her seeming interest in another man and believes that he should be with her instead; fairly standard stuff. Writer/producer David Kent tries to add a new spin on the tale with the inclusion of the Ancient Greek Muses, three women who are charged with inspiring our struggling hero, in order for them to graduate to fully-fledged Muses.

Unfortunately, an incantation goes awry and ‘Liberty’ is summoned, played by Drag Queen Dereck Walker. Whilst this could have been an interesting addition, the story becomes muddled. In the first act she is merely there to serve the writer, Trevor, acting as a muse and giving relationship advice; in the second act, however, she is imbued with an undefined power, that becomes stronger, giving her influence over Trevor’s world, it all gets a bit… confusing.

The message of the play is also slightly worrying, whilst in the end, everything turns out okay, the journey to get there is littered with disturbing signposts. Trevor’s frustration at not getting the girl is treated as completely normal and justified, but really comes across as a bit creepy and self-pitying, whilst a song called ‘Revenge’ focuses on how good it would feel to take out his frustrations on an innocent party, citing that it’ll feel good and would, again, be justified.

As I said, the cast, performs admirably. Georgie Faith, Chloe Rice and Emma Scott as the three Muses are beautifully paired, and create a wonderful harmonic chorus – much like the Little Shop Of Horrors trio – and Walker’s Liberty certainly has a spirited presence. William Hazell as Trevor, our protagonist, has a more difficult job, vocally strong and bringing a degree of warmth, but unfortunately, the character is just not very likable.

The team did a decent job with Liberty and the songs are enjoyable, but unfortunately, there is nothing new to see here.

Shanine Salmon on Twitter
Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.
Read more...

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Shanine Salmon on Twitter
Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.