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Posts Tagged ‘Joseph Prowen’

The week’s third new British musical turns out to be more of a play with music, a story with music even, but its a very good one

We spend an evening with Teddy & Josie, individually and together, as they get ready for, and go on, a night out in 1950’s Elephant & Castle, where the Southwark Playhouse is located. They are part of that post-war group of Teddy boys and girls, the country’s first teenage rebels, who subverted Edwardian dress (hence Teddy’s – I didn’t know that before) to create a cool new style, with attitude. Rock & Roll is arriving from the US and both are fans of Johnny Valentine & the Broken Hearts. From their respective bedrooms to some wasteland to the Coronet cinema to a club where Johnny is doing a secret gig, they tell us a lot about their lives and what the Ted’s are all about – and they fall in love.

Tristan Bernays play is great storytelling and it’s in verse, which is inspired and brilliant. The excellent onstage four-piece band play Dougal Irvine’s period perfect original songs (and a few others) starting 15 minutes before the show and continuing after. Even though its effectively a two-hander, it gets superb staging from Eleanor Rhode, who was also responsible for the terrific revival of Toast at the Park Theatre last year. Joseph Prowen and Jennifer Kirby and both fantastic as Teddy & Josie, looking and sounding perfect 50’s, including poses and facial expressions that seem straight out of the period.

It took me a short while to get into the rhythm of the piece, and for the sound to settle, but then it drew me in and captivated me. A very original work, highly recommended. You can even get a download of three songs with the programme, which surely must be a first!

 

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