REVIEW: MISS NIGHTINGALE (Hippodrome Casino) ★★★★★
Now in its sixth incarnation since its conception in 2011, Miss Nightingale has taken up residency at the Hippodrome Casino in London after a successful run at The Vaults in Waterloo. Whilst that venue could not be more perfect for a war-time musical with bare brick walls and cold musky smell, the show feels just as much at home in the cabaret setting of the swanky casino.
Miss Nightingale is a gay love story, set in 1940’s London, during a time where theatre started to become an important part of people’s lives – an escape from the terror around them. Miss Nightingale is a saucy cabaret singer who dreams of making a difference in the world and makes people smile with her naughty songs, full of innuendo. Songs like ‘The Pussy Song’ and ‘Sausage Song’ should give you a good idea of the direction this musical takes you in!
Frank and George are having a secret love affair but when Maggie (Miss Nightingale)’s boyfriend finds out, he blackmails Frank into paying him off so he doesn’t tell the police about his sodomistic behaviour (it was still very much illegal in those days). Maggie has found herself pregnant with a child out of wedlock and her boyfriend Tom has no interest in marrying her as he already has a wife.
Frank has an idea that could solve his problems but George isn’t too happy about it as it means taking advantage of his best friend Maggie in the process. Can they overcome the issues they find themselves faced with or will they all be shamed for the rest of their lives for their lifestyle decisions?
This is a brilliantly well written show, with a hilarious script and wonderful songs. The serious subject matter of some of the scenes is perfectly balanced out with hilarious comedy and the cast here could not be faulted. A must see show!
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Darren Bell