Writers: Morgan Lloyd Malcom and Katie Lyons
Directors: Ellie Browning and Terry O’Donovan
Review: Glen Pearce
Potential subjects for musicals never cease to amaze. We’ve had song and dance shows based on Jerry Springer, trains and even singing cats. For Latitude Look Left, Look Right have put their tongues firmly in their cheeks to lampoon the genre, creating four mini-musicals that are unlikely to be heading to the West End any time soon.
First up is the unlikely sounding Saw: The Musical. Set in a rehab centre for victims of the gore-fest horror franchise, our cast bravely sing while comparing what body parts they have had to remove to appease the psychopath Jigsaw. Like any good musical though, romance can find a home in the most unlikely of environments. For Jim and Jade, however, their blossoming love is cut short by the required thriller twist. Fans of Phantom Of The Opera may recognise the odd motif as a refrain of ‘No more talk of smoothies’, set to the tune resembling Lloyd Webber’s All I Ask Of You, accompanies our heroine facing being tossed into an oversized blender.
The middle two offerings, while amusing are perhaps slightly less successful than the opening and closing concepts. Internet:The Musical sees our everyday computer programmes come to life as they search for love and purpose, while Whodunit: The Musical sees a stage full of TV sleuths battling to solve a murder.
The fourth and final musical of the evening takes a wry look at the nation’s obsession with reality TV shows. Britain’s Strictly Got The X Voice. As ‘Ant n Dec’ presides over the ultimate talent show, all to raise funds for impoverished former talent contest winners, a procession of hopefuls battle for stardom. Being a TV search for a star though means that of course each contestant has to have a back story, be it a dead mother, a disability or in the case of ultimate winner being a dancing monkey. Simon Cowell and co may find it uncomfortable viewing but for anyone who has watched even a moment of those Saturday night TV ratings winners, it will all be only to real. We expected Susan Boyle to make a guest appearance at any moment.
Though perfect festival fare, with the short running time and high comedic value, while the show’s themselves are unlikely ever to become international blockbusters, there’s certainly a life beyond Latitude for the concept. Having said that, producers have commissioned stranger musicals than these in the past, so you never know – you could soon say you saw Saw: The Musical first at Latitude.