REVIEW: OUT THERE (Union Theatre) ★★★
Following on from the 2012 success of Loserville the Musical at the Garrick Theatre and subsequent revival last year at the Union Theatre, James Bourne and Elliot Davis now present their latest musical Out There at the brand new Union Theatre in Southwark.
Logan Carter is a young tearaway on the run from the police. His mothers packs him off to hide out with a mysterious old man who initially wants nothing to do with him. After reading the letter Logan’s mother wrote, Ned changes his mind and lets the boy stay. The local town is struggling for money and determined to make the old man (played by West End veteran Dave Willetts) sell his land to property developers but he isn’t going down without a fight. And what is he hiding away in the shed at the back of the garden? Out there spans three generations of men. The grandfather, the father and his son and brings them all together and encourages them to put their differences aside for the sake of family.
Act one drags and the whilst the music is good, the songs are lyrically and melodically dull and my heart was aching for a key change in songs that sadly never happened. Act 2 however feels like it has been written by someone totally different and is slick and well constructed with some great songs and a story that really takes off.
The cast really hold this show together and make it what it is. Dave Willetts is incredible as the old, frail Ned. His character goes on quite the journey and the audience are behind him all the way. He has some beautiful songs in Act 2 and shows of his impressive guitar skills at the same time. Luke Street is great as the young runaway Logan and Imelda Warren-Green shines as mechanic Jamie.
Out There has real potential to be a great new British musical, however in its current state Act 1 feels unloved in its writing which is a great shame as Act 2 really deserves to be seen. Overall a good show but it could be so much more.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Scott Rylander
OUT THERE plays at the Union Theatre until 8 October 2016