Zanna, Don’t!
June 7, 2014  //  By:   //  Musicals, Reviews  //  Comments are off

Entourage Productions present Zanna, Don’t! at the Landor Theatre in Clapham North. A camp-tastic musical fairytale about a world where being gay is normal and being straight is taboo. Zanna is the adorable fairy and the school matchmaker who waves his magic wand at couples-in-need at Heartsville High. The cool kids are those in the Chess Club and the football team are the geeks. It is a world of polar opposites. But how will the school react when they catch a boy and a girl together? Can these hetro-phobic teenagers accept them for being different?

The pretty cast in this production are very good and blend together well. David Ribi (who just finished touring the UK in Hairspray) sparkles in the lead role of Zanna, Liam Christopher Lloyd sings well as the sexually confused Steve and Jonathan Dudley gives a hilarious performance as Mike. Jennifer Saayeng blows the roof off of the Landor Theatre as Roberta and Ceris Hine is bubbly and adorable as Kate.

The music in Zanna, Don’t! is well written and full of energy. ‘I Think We Got Love’, ‘Ride ‘Em’ and ‘Do You Think We Could Fall In Love’ were some of my favourites and I found myself singing them after the show (which is always a good sign!)

What lets this show down is the direction. The show is interestingly performed in the round (well almost) but the actors only perform to one end of the audience. Sadly, because of where I was sitting, I couldn’t see a great deal and couldn’t hear some of the dialogue which was very frustrating. The large cast of ten people was too adventurous for a venue of this size with the seating arranged how it was. At times I felt like I was on a crowded train during rush hour with people trying to dance around me. The decision to not have an interval in this two hour show was a huge mistake as you could see people drifting off into their own worlds. The rush for the toilet at the end of the show was testament that an interval would have been appreciated by many people!

The choreography (by Tom Scanlon) was great and in a larger venue (or with a smaller cast) this would have worked really well. I would love to see this show in a slightly bigger theatre under different direction as I think it has the potential to be a great fun show.

Reviewed by West End Wilma


Zanna, Don’t! is on at the Landor Theatre until 29 June 2014. Click here for tickets.