Pros: The cast are very talented and there are some incredibly impressive vocal performances.
Cons: Despite the strong musical performances, there were some stilted lines which took away from the unfolding story.
Richmond Theatre is a beautiful building both inside and out, a grand entrance leads to a very traditional theatre with ornate decoration and a bustling atmosphere.
Crush, a ‘smashing musical comedy’ could just as easily have been called “St Trinians – The Musical”, there are many similarities between the two. The rebellious school girls with strong pride for their school and the cockney handyman who wants to help save the school are very familiar however the love affair between two of the girls set this apart from another re-make of a classic. In fact the biggest similarities I noticed were between the plot and my own school, which was also in trouble and needed saving, unfortunately we weren’t quite so lucky as the girls at Dame Dorothea Dosserdale School for Girls in 1963.
Crush has brilliant music and lyrics. A song performed by the strict new Headmistress, Miss Bleacher, states that these girls must be the “Future Mothers of the Future Sons of England” and a tap dancing routine with hockey sticks made me think how much better sport would have been at school had we tap danced around the field instead.
The cast are impressive, with many stunning performances particularly Daimler’s performance set in a Chelsea nightclub during which she had the audience in the palm of her hand. Miss Bleacher, played by Rosemary Ashe, has an incredibly powerful voice that we don’t get to hear often enough in this show. Occasionally lines felt a little stilted, some of the cast were definitely stronger when singing then when saying their lines, which did somewhat break the magic.
The set and design of this show deserves a particular mention, it was brilliantly fun and clever. The set whilst at the school looked as though it had been sketched onto the stage. When two of the girls ran away to London everything was bright, colourful and even glittery and the sequence when they first arrive was a treat. This contrast between the school and the city showed the glamour of running away and further highlighted how this may not be all it seems as the drama unfolded against this new backdrop.
If you don’t like musicals, and particularly have a dislike for cheesy musicals, Crush may not be for you. It took me a little while to get into this show, as it is very much from the stereotypical musical theatre mould, which can seem grating at first. However there are some funny and heart warming moments which won me over completely and I often realised I was sitting watching this show with a grin on my face.
Author: Maureen Chadwick
Director: Anna Linstrum
Musical Director: Helen Ireland
Choreographer: Richard Roe
Composer & Lyricist: Kath Gotts
Booking Until: 3 October 2015
Box Office: 0844 871 7651
Booking Link: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/crush/richmond-theatre/#overview_tab