Pros: Well devised, well executed production.
Cons: To appreciate some of the songs you need a certain amount of musical theatre knowledge but this is not essential for the overall enjoyment of the show.
‘Snakes’ is a word that conjures up less than positive images, so I was a little apprehensive when I was asked to review this production. Once I learned that it was a musical and a comedy, my wariness turned to curiosity, and as I am never one to turn down a musical, I trotted over to the Leicester Square Theatre Studio to find out more.
Snakes on a Plane – The Musical will have it all. Excitement, romance, big numbers, a revolving stage, trained snakes… not to mention boy dancers in gold hot pants. The trouble is that the show hasn’t been produced yet, and it is up to the writer and director Thom and his friends Will and Marina to pitch it to a room full of would be producers (the audience).
Thom tells us that his musical would be set on a plane and he talks us through scene by hilarious scene, each more bizarre than the last. Will and Marina play a multitude of different characters, the more notable of which are the hero Leroy, the air stewards Rosie and Ryan and various passengers (including Russian Minister Mr Zlad). There are killer snakes hidden in the hold and once they escape, heroic attempts must be made to save the plane.
There is no scenery, there are no costumes; everything is left to our imagination. Thom tries desperately to persuade the audience to fund the obscene £50 million it would take to make his dream a reality, while it is clear that Will and Marina don’t share his belief that this would be a hit show.
Produced by the Quite Nice Theatre Company, this tongue in cheek production about a would-be musical is devised by the three actors: Thom Sellwood, Will Guppy and Marina Waters. It is very cleverly written and full of musical theatre references and clichés. The music and lyrics are by Mark Andrewes and Julian Ng. The numbers are extremely funny, catchy and give more than a passing nod to many well known and current musicals. My particular favourites were Uri’s Song which gave Will Guppy a real chance to shine, and the big romantic number All Time High, where sexual tensions between the characters were hilariously apparent.
All this takes place in the tiny Leicester Square Theatre Lounge. I had not been to this venue before and I was very impressed: it was friendly, welcoming and could not have been more central.
At just over an hour long with no interval, Snakes! – The Musical is a ssssenstional ssshow, I would urge people to catch it before the end of the run on October 19th .
Devised by: Will Guppy, Thom Sellwood, Marina Waters
Music and Lyrics: Mark Andrewes and Julian Ng
Producer: Quite Nice Theatre Company
Booking Until: October 19th 2014
Box Office: 08448 733433
Booking Link: http://www.leicestersquaretheatre.com/home