Have you ever wondered what a performative PowerPoint of history’s most famous musical theatre composers would look like, all tied in with song, dance and a chaotic plot? Well, SEDOS theatre company have created just that, in The Musical of Musicals – an hour long, jam-packed musical roller-coaster, taking their audiences through manic storylines with the help of music inspired by the biggest names in show business. Whether you are the most well-versed musical theatre fan you know, or think you remember seeing that film with Julie Andrews and the singing children on a hill once in your youth, this show is a theatrical education fit for all, delving into the works of the musicians who have shaped the musical theatre world we live in today.
The five performers showcase their skills brilliantly, all having very strong voices, top quality multi-roling and characterisation and on-point dance moves. The piece is very strongly supported by the music, as it is (much like the musical traits of one of their main points of exploration) Sondheim-like in its continuity of music with little room for dialogue. They’re not misleading their audiences when promising five full musicals in one show, and they even find time for little intervals of musical montage to remind us of the top hits of talents such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Gerry Herman. With the accompaniment of a singular piano and snare drum, musical director Natalie Pound manages to include all of the classical musical conventions found in everyone’s favourite musical theatre numbers, and her composition gives melodic nods to the works of each famous name the audience is presented with.
A minimal downfall of the piece is its overly dramatic and extravagant plot, which (despite being very fitting and versatile for every type of theatre they present) becomes slightly tired when repeated five times. This, however, is overcome in-part through the hilarious acting and character work from the actors on stage. With subtle hints to a-list musical theatre icons such as Patti Lapone and Judy Garland, the skill the actors have in playing more than five characters each, all of which are executed brilliantly and accompanied by their exceptionally strong voices, carries the show and makes if feel very professional.
The Musical of Musicals is a complete night of feel good entertainment, with the satisfaction of seeing and hearing your favourite musical theatre works laid out in front of us. It’s all strung together with great songs, clever gags and a cast who have perfected the ability to deliver a solid performance whilst simultaneously being able to take the mickey out of themselves.
The Musical of Musicals is playing at Bridewell Theatre until 29 February. For more information and tickets, visit the SEDOS website.