Misfits is bringing in the Christmas season, almost. A mish mash of brilliant showtunes and heartfelt ensembles, West End Misfits – The Christmas Edition finds a way to bridge the gap between early December and the Christmas period. Although initially unprofessional, the script is held in the actor’s hands and even announced to have been written the previous night, awkwardness is promptly turned into laughter and aids the informal air that carries the show.
Originally a fundraising expedition, Misfits is an obvious source of joy for both the cast and audience that not only encourages individualisation but presents a warmth familiarity throughout the night. There is an obvious comradery between the cast and the majority of the audience appear to be families and friends of the performers, it has succeeded in creating a network of musical expression that, in my opinion, should not be limited to the three shows they have so far produced. While one unfortunate cast member is kindly mocked for her broken leg as she hops slowly and precariously on and off the stage, Misfits allows the audience into their inner circle. Although these may be awe-inspiringly professional performers, they have endless humility and present their musical capabilities as no big deal.
Not only does this show give it’s cast the opportunity to perform songs they never dreamed of doing, in any professional capacity at least, it also provides the audience with performance that transcends expectation. Demonstrating talent that even outshines many performers in big West End musicals, Misfits puts on a real show. Whether witnessing a singular act ram out a wonderfully rich and sassy edition of ‘Sweet Transvestite’ or being swept away by the entire cast’s harmonies in Anastasia’s ‘Once Upon A December’, they’ll have you hanging on every word.
Indeed, the showcase has no limits on what it explores. Heartfelt tunes and joke filled numbers run aplenty and exist hand in hand on the intimate stage, these are not merely singers, they are actors and there is a sense of fulfilling dreams which cannot be missed. Matthew Boyd’s rendition of ‘The Wizard and Me’ was playful and enthusiastic, he assumes the role of Elphaba even without the green skin. Each cast member is allowed to showcase their own form of dream fulfilment, and although some may have been more touching than others, indeed reversing gender roles is not always easy on the vocal cords, there is a unity running throughout. It is a night of continual goose bumps that shall not be easy to shake.
West End Misfits: The Christmas Edition played on 2 December. For more information, visit the LW Theatre website.