You don’t have to be a fan of aquatic placental spout-squirting marine mammals to appreciate Andrew Wright’s take on Moby Dick – but a penchant for choreography that could power a fleet of trawlers, an affection for Glee-style musical numbers and an esteem for the male form, in two beautiful varieties, will help you stay afloat.
St. Godley’s Academy for Young Ladies are in a bit of financial bother. Headmistress (X Factor’s Anton Stephans) decides to stage a musical version of Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick to keep the shark from the porthole. Think St. Trinian’s meets Peter Pan with a wave of Carry on Cruising – Ofsted would have an algae-ridden-seabed day.
In amongst the spot-light rivalry, over-the-blouse gropes, double entendres, an inappropriate use of a ruler, African jigs, amateur projector marine displays, dark angel trolly dashes, Sinitta (probably just because it was press night), the occasional can-can and a male striptease – in amongst the pandemonium of jollity is a cast humpbacked-full of enthusiasm, each sperming their own individual clicks, pulses and whistles.
Ishmael (Rachel Anne Rayham) would give a chorus of orcas a swim for their money with her compelling vocal cords. Anton’s animated boat-race did him no favours with Mr Cowell but worked superbly spurting life into the Headmistress and Ahab. And Glen Facey’s pirouettes, fouettés and fish dives were executed without so much as a splash.
School uniform isn’t mandatory, and you may be encouraged to dance with the Head, but there’s no Moby about enjoying this Dick – it’s a sure thing.
Wednesday 12th October – Saturday 12th November 2016 Tuesday to Sunday, 7.30pm
Saturday and Sunday matinees, 2.30pm
Union Theatre, 204 Union Street, London SE1 0LX – phone: 020 7261 9876
Tickets are available starting at £15