REVIEW: VANITIES THE MUSICAL (Trafalgar Studios) ★★★★
VANITIES THE MUSICAL opened this week at Trafalgar Studios starring three big west end names. Lauren Samuels (We Will Rock You/Bend It Like Beckham), Ashleigh Gray (Wicked/Cool Rider) and Lizzy Connolly (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels/Mrs Henderson Presents). So with these three ladies making up the cast, I was excited to go and check it out.
Vanities tells the story of three young american girls throughout their teenage years. Starting off at high school in 1963 we see the girls as the popular cheerleaders, then onto their college sorority house and then finally six years later as fully grown adults meeting up for old time sake. These girls have been through a lot together but whilst sorority sisters should stick together, as they head into adult life, their friendships are put to the test.
The show is a slow burner. Act one takes the audience through the school and college years, letting us get to know the characters, their dreams and aspirations. However by the interval I was slightly underwhelmed by the pace and the pink bubble gum image of three annoying american high school girls. Act 2 however flips everything on its head and becomes gritty, intense and we see these three friends have to admit to each other their truths that show they are all less than perfect.
Lizzy Connolly is comedy gold as the southern-bell Joanne. She is funny down to the bones with her goofy facial expressions, quirky dancing and hilarious line delivery. Lauren Samuels and Ashleigh Gray showcase brilliant acting and vocal ability from all three is second to none.
The songs are good and exquisitely performed and although the story takes a while to get going it is well written and very funny. The set design was nicely done for a show of this size and attention to detail was great.
Vanities is a great show and well worth sticking with as it really does pick up. It’s not often you get a chance to see three actresses of this level perform together in an intimate space and so don’t miss out on this whilst you can.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photos: Pamela Raith
VANITIES plays at Trafalgar Studios until 1 October 2016 www.atgtickets.com/venues/trafalgar-studios