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.
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.