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Posts Tagged ‘Ian McCurrach’

If there was an award for the silliest plot of a musical, this would definitely be on the shortlist. Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty’s first show is about an English shoe salesman called Harry who will inherit $6m from his Uncle Tony as long as he takes his corpse on a holiday to Monte Carlo. As you can imagine, it’s a musical comedy, well musical farce, or perhaps farcical musical. Bonkers but fun.

It’s a bit more complicated because the inheritance is in diamonds and it has been stolen from his casino owner employer, in cahoots with the employer’s wife Rita, who is herself determined to get her hands on it. Oh, and there’s a dogs home representative watching carefully because if he doesn’t stick to every detail of the instructions, they cop the lot. Harry heads to Monte Carlo with the corpse, where he encounters Rita, accompanied by her optometrist brother Vincent, and Annabel from the dogs home who he falls for, and her him.

The chief strength if this production is the choruses, both in their singing and their staging; they are like quick-fire cartoon sequences and they take your breath away. Tom Elliot Reade is excellent as Harry, well paired with Natasha Hoeberigs as the equally meek Annabel. Natalie Moore-Williams makes a terrific job of Rita and Ian McCurrach gives a more playful take on the corpse than the first time I saw the show five years ago at the Landor (https://garethjames.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/lucky-stiff).

It’s actor Paul Callen’s first stab at directing, though he’s cut his teeth assisting, and a fine job he makes of it too. For once at the Union, there was a good balance between Richard Baker’s duo and the solo vocals, perhaps because they appear to have lost the bass player! Good fun, though the run is now over.

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