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07:00 | 27th June 2017

Reviews: Live Shows

Fri 6 Mar, 2015
By Robert Ingham


a truly fun evening with more than just a smile being flashed

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Bathhouse: The Musical - Theatre Review

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After a sold-out run last year, Above The Stag theatre have brought back the hugely successful “Bathhouse: The Musical”. For all those who missed it, and even for those who didn’t, Bathhouse is a welcome return, and it’s even better.

Innocent Billy is new to the scene and hopes to fall in love, having just moved to London. We meet him as he visits the bathhouse for the first time, guided by the omnipresent vocals of narrator Gyles Brandreth.

However, he quickly finds out that most of the patrons aren’t really there for love, but something a little more temporary, and his journey unfolds over a host of catchy musical numbers with plenty of nudity, making for a smashingly entertaining evening.

Director Tim McArthur, also a cast member, has worked hard at improving Bathhouse over the past few months. The show has more depth and packs a bigger emotional punch this time round – quite impressive considering the subject matter, especially “Lonely Love Song” which genuinely sends chills running up and down your body.

Writers Tim Evanicki and Esther Daack freely admit this is no “Les Mis” or “Miss Saigon” and are wholeheartedly aware of their target audience, so it is a no-holds-barred two hours of tantalising titillation, without becoming too salacious. With their new changes, and some topical ad-libs from the cast, “Bathhouse” is clearly another winner for ATS.

The casting is also perfect, with every member (of cast) taking charge and making sure every last ounce of humour is squeezed from the lively script, and it is great to see half the cast reprising their roles, like Matthew Harper who once again muscles his way into your memory, and Ryan Lynch, returning to the lead role of Billy. His already strong voice has improved immensely, and it is he (and he alone) who sings the incredibly touching aforementioned “Lonely Love Song”. The whole cast sing the number at the end, which has been recorded and can be bought at the box office or on iTunes, and reminds you that it’s not all about men in towels as these boys can sing! Really sing.

Other stand-out songs are gospel-inspired “Hottie Revival”, toe-tapping “Christmas At The Baths” and the gloriously titled “Penises Are Like Snowflakes”. “Bathhouse” will have you humming the tunes long after you’ve seen the show, and is thoroughly recommended. As mentioned in a previous review, don’t expect Chekhov but do expect a truly fun evening with more than just a smile being flashed. Sit in the middle for a truly memorable experience.

“Bathhouse: The Musical” in on at Above The Stag theatre until 29th March.

Photos: Derek Drescher

 

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