REVIEW: CREAM (Canal Cafe Theatre) ★★★

Cream Canal Cafe TheatreFollowing on from the hugely successful NewsRevue, the Canal Cafe Theatre have launched a new show Cream, celebrating songs from lesser known musical theatre shows, that failed to make much of an impact either in the West End or on Broadway (essentially, the cream of the crap).

I was expecting Cream to be a celebration of some of the fantastic musical numbers that exist within theatre shows that just didn’t make it on stage for one reason or another. Instead the revue is a comedic look at some of the less exciting numbers in these shows, taking the songs out of context making the audience see just how bizarre the concepts of some musicals can be.

Featuring songs from likes of Lord of the Rings, Love Never Dies, The Witches of Eastwick, Made In Dagenham and Stephen Ward, there are many shows here that people may remember. There are also the shows that succeeded in London but failed on Broadway like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bombay Dreams and The Rocky Horror Show. Even the hugely celebrated show La Cage Aux Folles failed in the West End because of the Aids epidemic at the time and fear within society that if they went to see the show they might contract the illness!

Cream features a cast of four musical theatre actors, which will change every six weeks, along with the songs featured in the show. Josh Considine and Abigail Carter-Simpson are the strongest of the performers in this cast, with Josh’s cheeky smile and stage presence and Abigail’s incredible comedy and voice (she is certainly one to watch out for in the future). Ashleigh Jones is good but with such big personalities next to her on stage, blended in to the background at times. Steven Dalziel has a quirky appeal but is a little to panto for the show. Musical Director Gary Jerry has a bigger part in the show than most MD’s and at times looks out of place centre stage. I found myself watching him at times, rather bewildered, instead of the main performers.

The Canal Cafe is a lovely little theatre, above a pub in North London. Cream is a good fun show and I look forward to catching it again when the cast changes in a few weeks and to see the new songs that are used.

Reviewed by West End Wilma