Fashion Victim: The Musical

Fashion Victim: The Musical was never going to be a homage to Pinter or a deep and probing examination of the human psyche. It was always going to be a fun, frothy show with beautiful people and scathing witticisms. On the whole is succeeded in being a fun and entertaining evening, but people going to see Fashion Victim: The Musical for an inside scoop on the devious inner workings of super models will be disappointed. Despite being set amongst the ‘fashion elite’, the plot really lends itself to being more Katie Price than Kate Moss.

The show follows the rise of the brand aware and self perpetuating Mimi Steel who rises through the fashion industry and tabloid magazines one man at a time. Rosie Glossop gives until it hurts in the role and although she certainly has a pair of pipes on her, at times her performance was clichéd rather than biting. As her love interest Cedric Chevalier, James Wilkinson suits the role to a T, (honestly, it’s like the man is sculpted out of marble!) and he plays up to the stereotype with excellent comic timing. But the star of the show really is Carl Mullaney’s narrator character Jake Spangle. Mullaney is as catty as a mad spinster’s house and his improvisation has the audience hooting with laughter.

The show couldn’t take place in a more gorgeous location. Within the Cinema Museum’s main hall, which is decked out with vintage film posters and equipment, a perfectly crisp white catwalk has been erected. The production values are extremely high for a fringe show, with booming music and lights creating a pumping catwalk atmosphere. Unfortunately there are some glaringly amateurish props and costumes which brings down the whole tone of the piece (sellotaped accessories could surely be improved by such high concepts as a needle and thread?) and hopefully these will be rectified within the run.

Fashion Victim: The Musical is quite a confused show; not sure if it’s a scathing parody or upbeat frothiness, it fails to do either perfectly. If it had taken a turn and become ‘Reality Stars are money grabbing whores who will sell their private lives for a ha’penny: The Musical’ it would have a clearer direction. Having said that, sometimes it is refreshing to see a show that simply wants to give you a silly night out and if that was the director’s intention then it fulfilled that criteria.

n.b On a slightly side-tracked note, if you do perchance go see the show then make sure you stop off at Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec just around the corner. With amazing decor, a divine wine list and free jazz in the evenings it’s the perfect place to stop off for a post-show nightcap. And no, they’ve not sponsored this review.

Reviewed by Rosalie Carter