This is the first of the five plays put on by Michael Grandage at the Noel Coward theatre and Grandage has chosen this light comedic musical piece by Peter Nichols with music by Denis King. Although this was not the first time Grandage directed this play, (he previously did at Donmar in 1991), this was the first collaboration between Grandage and Simon Russell Beale. This was a great role for Beale as the flamboyant yet sensitive drag performer, bearing the responsibility of most of the musical numbers and jokes. Beale didn’t disappoint with his casual flips between playful and serious, and ability to carry all the costumes with true ease and comfort that the character seemed to enjoy. The rest of the cast was adequate but there was a slightly under par performance by Angus Wright in the first couple of his scenes. The rhythm of the show was not quite there yet which may be explained by the show still being in preview. There seemed to be a discontinuity between scenes and a good set of jokes or a rousing musical number was immediately drowned by the sedateness of the scene after. Otherwise, it was a perfectly capable production, and the love story between Sophuya Haque and Joseph Timms had some real emotional backing to it. All the music and jokes were enjoyable individually and it was good entertainment for a cold winter evening. However, it was not up to the usual high standard Michael Grandage set during his Donmar years and hopefully, the next 4 plays will improve on this.


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