When I was first invited to see Damn Yankees I was intrigued as I am a huge sports fan and a huge theatre lover, so a mix of the two was a win win in my eyes.
Damn Yankees (Based on the novel ‘The Year The Yankees Lost The Pennant’ by Douglas Wallop) tells the story of a down on their luck baseball team, who through the help of a sinister pair (Lola & Appelgate) and an average Joe, try to reach their potential.
The set was simple yet effective and the band fitted in nicely at the back behind some sort of mesh. In whole the scene was set and looked great before the show opened but when the show started, the problems came to light.
The band were far too loud for the space provided. All the performers voices became strained and you could hear that it was tough on them. A three piece band was just far to much without the use of Microphones (which unfortunately was a problem that kept popping up throughout the entire show).
Casting was key in this show and in some places I think they went really wrong. It seemed like if somebody fitted the age of the character, then they were hired. Saying this, there were stand out performances from Liam Christopher Lloyd, Rachel Lea Gray, James Lorcan and Kevin Sherwin.
Throughout the show there were moments which just didn’t make sense. A scene in which Joe (Liam Christopher Lloyd) was getting changed in the locker room to only put back on what he took off.
The length of the show was fine but the length in acts was very bizarre. The first act was very long and the second very short. I’m not sure why this is but it may the something to do with the fact that they were using the amateur rights for the show.
As a whole I thought the piece was trying to be to many things and it just didn’t feel ready. The cast did the best they could with what was given to them.
Imperial productions present the Amateur version of Damn Yankees at The Jack Studio Theatre, Brockley until the 14th April.
Reviewed by Jamie Chapman Dixon