REVIEW: Reputation @ Other Palace studio theatre, Victoria


Other Palace studio theatre


In this post-Weinstein , Me too era , a musical about an injustice done in Hollywood to a talented woman is about as topical  as it gets. But this is  no sex abuse scandal ; it’s the artistic crime of plagiarism.

The fresh-faced , naive  Michelle, closeted with other bored rich girls in a 1930’s Paris deportment school has written a novel which she wants to see made into a film. It’s a tale of a female stenographer and a Mafia mobster.

Answering an advert in Variety, she finds her script has fallen  into the fraudulent hands of the aptly-named Freddie Larceny, who passes her work off as his own to a major Hollywood studio. It’s a good old-fashioned musical with lots of nice tunes and none the worse for that.

And like all morality tales we know it’s bound to have a happy ending. There’s a love interest too, to keep us gripped – between the ingenue and a rather handsome but pretty useless lawyer. Round it off with a mellifluous , melodious Gilbert and Sullivan style judge and a chorus of highly talented girls to keep the action going and it seems a sure-fire formula for success .

Altogether a pleasant first outing as composer/co-author/lyricist/producer for ex-businessman Alick Glass. The 25 songs,played with brightness and pace by director/MD Warren Wills (piano ) and Jordan Brown (double bass) are short and very sweet.

Maddy Banks as Michelle has a bright, clear voice and her  tunes are always pleasing to the ear. And there’s a delicious tango-paced solo Paranoia for the devilish  villain, played with venomous delight at concert hall volume  by Jeremy Secomb to end the first half.

Cory Peterson as the slightly dippy judge is clearly having a whale of a time and his deep rich voice adds colour to the role.

This is clearly a big musical at the development stage. It needs fewer longer songs, a bit less Michelle and a lot more Larceny and a second song for the Paris night club chanteuse played on her professional debut by Priscille Grace.

Look out for a reincarnated Reputation – it’s sure to be a hit.

Reputation plays at the Other Palace studio theatre, Victoria, London more info or to book tickets here: 

Until 14 November.

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