Interval Productions presented a plethora of leading west end performers for a one day celebration of the four shows they have produced so far. As a reviewer, it is impossible to be able to see every show that is on in London (and believe me, I used to try!) and so for me the idea of being able to watch 4 different shows in the time it would usually take to watch one was incredibly exciting.
After The Turn is a story of Michael (Liam Doyle), the boy who had a great musical career in front of him, until one day, after an argument with his mother (Ashleigh Gray) found himself orphaned after a tragic accident. Since that day, Michael hasn’t spoken a word and it is down to his guardian (Steven Webb) to do everything he can to get his life back on track. Stephen Rolley plays Teenage Michael and performs the songs in the shadow of his older self, recalling the events that led him to where he is today. After The Turn is a show that I didn’t manage to see first time around but I found it incredibly moving and am delighted that this show gave me an opportunity to experience it.
Act 2 was a mash up of two different shows. Another Way and Rent. Another Way tells the story of a blossoming relationship between Carrie (Jennifer Potts) and Oliver (Andy Coxon). Oliver has just helped to publicise a video online made by Sam (Aidan Crawford) and Toby (Timothy O’Hara) which has become an overnight YouTube success. The story starts off well but doesn’t really come to any conclusion in this production and suddenly turns in to a selection of songs from Rent. A wonderful whirlwind through the soundtrack of well loved songs but sadly doesn’t tell much of the story from the show. The beautifully staged funeral of Angel could possibly have not been understood by those in the audience not familiar with the shows storyline already.
After a second interval there was a full on assault of the critically acclaimed Streets which would have made anyone watching feel uncomfortable, with street gangs and strong language played out through impressive dance routines.
With such a large cast, many of which are already well established performers, it is hard to single out favourites. However Steven Webb and Ashleigh Gray blew me away in After The Turn with their incredible voices. The hottest body award goes to Liam Doyle (currently playing Fiyero on the UK tour of Wicked) who left me having impure thoughts (for a woman of my age), when he removed his t-shirt. Sabrina Aloueche’s brief appearance in Rent showed her doing what she does best. I believe the technical term is “belting her tits off”!
Some sound issues during the performance were noticeable but not overly off-putting, although in such a small venue it probably would have worked just as well without microphones. For a one day production, this showcase of performances from Interval Productions worked well and was a real eye opener for the way upcoming shows could be showcased in future.
Reviewed by West End Wilma