As a fan of the greats such as Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern, I was more than a little excited to be seeing Cole Porter’s Out of this World. Created by All Star Productions and performed at Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre above a (very reasonably priced) pub in Walthenstow, the show follows some very promiscuous God’s who decide to come down to earth for a few earthly pleasures and in true Porter style, get up to some mischief.
Out of this world isn’t one of Cole Porter’s better known musicals and for fairly good reason. Although the show has several of Porter’s trademark such as witticisms, catchy tunes and upper-class carrying ons (and you can’t really get much more upper-class than Gods!), the show lacks the dazzling word play and pure escapism that others do. But director Randy Smartnick and the cast do a damn good job of keeping the atmosphere upbeat and fruity.
As the mother of all Gods Juno, Rhinannon Moushall is resplendent. With her sassy style, characterful singing voice and excellent comic timing she is perfect for the role and no doubt Cole Porter himself would have enjoyed her performance. Ruth Betteridge is also brilliantly cast as Helen O’Malley, the virgin bride selected for seduction by Jupiter. Doe eyed and clear voiced, she is divine to watch and brings just the right amount of spark to the role. Combine with Hugo Joss Catton’s snarky messenger God Mercury and Cameron Bernard Jones’ self-adoring Jupiter and we have ourselves a show!
Kate McPhee’s choreography is surprisingly good, mainly because she manages to create big Broadway numbers in a limited amount of space. The opening number really did make me laugh as the cast poked fun at musical tradition and cheekily introduced the audience to exactly what sort of evening they were in for. Unfortunately the rest of the show doesn’t quite live up to this opening number and a couple of the numbers felt a little dated.
All in all, Out of this World is a fun show to watch, with a couple of stand-out performances and some great numbers. But as I left the theatre I didn’t find myself beaming from ear to ear as I had hoped. It certainly was a fun way to spend an evening but I can see why Out of this World isn’t as revived as often as Porter’s other shows.
Reviewed by Roz Carter
Out of This World is playing at Ye Olde Rose and Crown until 30 April 2016