REVIEW | Urinetown The Musical, Beeston Musical Theatre Group.

30 May 2019 Chatsworth Arts Centre, W Gate, Long Eaton, Nottingham NG10 1EF, UK


Urinetown The Musical
Beeston Musical Theatre Group
Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton
★★

The Beeston Musical Theatre Group is a NODA-affiliated award-winning Musical Theatre Group based in Beeston, Nottingham. The group has been around since the 1960's and now they perform at the Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton twice a year. Their Summer show is "Urinetown" whilst in October they'll perform "The Producers". The group strive to perform shows with the highest levels of production including a live orchestra, sound and lighting, staging and choreography which is received year after year by new and old audiences. 

I went along to see the group perform Urinetown The Musical, a musical I actually know very little about but contains a fantastic script and score. I was excited to give it a go! 

Urinetown is a satirical musical which is set in social and political turmoil as a disastrous 20-year drought has crippled the city's water supply. Water is so scarce that the city's government has enforced a ban on all private toilets in an effort to control water consumption. It's desperate times for the citizens who must now use the public, pay-per-use amenities owned and operated by the Urine Good Company (UGC) - a private corporation run the malicious Caldwell B. Cladwell. Citizens who try to avoid the peeing-fee by relieving themselves in the bushes risk being sent away to "Urinetown" - a strange place where many have been sent but never return.

The oppressed masses come together in line at the poorest, filthiest urine in town, Public Amenity #9 which is run by the rigid, self-assured Penelope Pennywise (Steph Gray-Blest) and her assistant, the people's hero and dashing young rebel Bobby Strong (Chris Collington). There's news that fee increases are in the pipeline and thanks to Bobby's determination they fight the tyrannical regime for the right to make the public amenities free for all to use.



The entire company put on a fantastic show - which a lot of its audiences probably know very little. It's clear from the beginning that this is unlike your "traditional" musical with Chris Bryan quickly snapping up the opportunity to narrate the story as Officer Lockstock. His perfectly executed humour in the show really carries off well. 

The musical which was nominated for 10 Tony Awards also has an excellent musical score which is brought to life by the excellent small orchestra situated at the front of the stage. The entire cast of Urinetown are excellent in this production, especially on such a small stage the level of professionalism and talent oozes from the stage. Particular strengths lie in Laura Such as Hope Cladwell and Chris Collington as Bobby Strong who do a remarkable job in the leading characters and have tremendous vocals to support their natural flare in the acting department too!

I also loved Little Sally's character portrayed by Claire Rybicki. Her character is a co-narrator of the show. She has real innocence as well as becoming easily influenced and intimidated by the other characters. Her comic timing was spot on and crucial to the storyline. 

The only downside to my experience was that I lost some of the diction within the musical numbers, this was unfortunate as I think this would have aided my ability to understand the story a lot more. It's such a fast paced musical - it definitely needs clear diction to help it's audience along with the ride. 

Beeston Musical Theatre Group put on a fantastic performance of a bonkers musical! It had fantastic nuggets of humour but also tells a resonating tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time where water is vital. I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of seeing a production from this group and I can't wait to see more from them! They have an exceptional standard that will make for a great night at the theatre.


You can watch Urinetown The Musical at Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton until 01 June. You can find out more about this show and others on the group's website here





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