REVIEW: SUMMER STREET (Waterloo East Theatre) ★★★★

Summer Street, the Aussie Soap Opera Musical, comes to Waterloo East Theatre for three weeks, following a short run at Brighton Fringe. With book, music and lyrics by Andrew Norris, this show offers exactly what it says on the tin. Last year saw the 30th anniversaries of Neighbours and Home and Away; Norris looks back to the 1990s and the daily episodes of sun, sea and Australian life as the inspiration for his musical comedy.

Summer Street has four fading soap stars, brought back together to resurrect their careers with a special comeback episode, ten years after their show ended. Steph (Julie Clare) has found fame in a spin off show; Bruce (Simon Snashall) has turned to drink after he was axed from the show and lost his wife and kids. Paul (Myke Cotton) once the prettiest boy on the street has turned into a pot smoking hippy and Angie (Sarah-Louise Young) now works on the fish counter in the local supermarket, having failed to find another acting job. They catch up and reminisce about the old times and revisit their old characters as well as their shared past.

Norris originally imagined the show as a juke box musical with songs from the 80s and 90s but ended up creating a new musical with original songs, heavily inspired by the 1990s music often sung by Australian soap stars.

Summer Street offers a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those who remember the heyday of Aussie soap operas; if you also like musicals then you’re in for a treat. Some of the references and one liners might be missed by those who are less familiar with Australian soap operas but this is a charming and well written show performed by a strong cast.

Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans
Photo: Simon Snashall

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