August 7, 2014  //  By:   //  Musicals, Reviews  //  Comments are off

Grim: a New Musical is the love story to die for. It’s about the Grim Reaper falling in love with Cupid but she cannot be with him because if she’s with him, she’ll kill him. It’s a story about the angel of death falling for the angel of love, the collision of the two most powerful forces in the world – the power of love versus the power of death.

Walking into this space with Latin chanting, dim lighting and blackly clad eery figures lining the alleyways the ‘atmosphere’ for the evening is clear from the offset.

Unfortunately from the moment the show starts the audience are less clear on where the evening maybe taking them. I would state at this point that I am an avid fan of new writing, of fringe and supporting emerging talent. However this production falls short on many counts.

This piece as a whole came across in a rather amateur dramatic/end of year school show manor. I found the majority of the delivery, choreography and character development lacking and desperately needing an injection of creativity,

The lead characters of Grim (Roseanna Christoforou) and Cupid (Anthony Matteo) make a valiant effort of trying to bring this piece to life but like the role of a Grim, their presence can mean only death.

The choreography was basic and uninspired and the costumes followed a basic colour palette of black, white and red (which in theory could have been quite dark, mysterious, with a gothic effect) but failed to impress and were, for the majority, ill-fitting and unflattering. This was a huge opportunity and I would’ve liked to have seen some creative use of the colour theme that represented the characters in more detail and a wider use of materials and textures to create depth and a little edge of provocative sex appeal, after all Cupid is the angel of love!

I did enjoy a few performances and found Georgi Mottram very sweet and endearing as the troubled Amelia especially when joined by Jordan Veloso playing Matthew who was every bit the handsome love interest. These two reminded me of a young Audrey and Seymour from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and had a genuine chemistry on stage.

An impressive vocal range from Kathryn Rutherford playing one of the St Trinain(esque) fans of Cupid gave the audience something to look forward too and is a performer to watch out for in the future.

The lighting was effective and on cue and lit the performers in an eery and mysterious way to create a sense of dark despair and a grave (boom boom) atmosphere.

If the writing had been wittier, more concise and focused around a more structured plot then the cast would have something more to have worked, developed and portrayed. Pieces like this can be miscast and when there is a lack of experience and understanding of the calibre needed for a high profile, centrally located, off west end show can fall short of its real potential.

Sadly no matter how hard Cupid tried I didn’t fall in love with this show and like the opening number of the second act I was left thinking ‘When Will This Nightmare End’.

Reviewed by Matthew Wren Andrew

Grim is playing at the Charing Cross Theatre until 31 August 2014. Click here for tickets.