Waterloo East Theatre 29 November – 18 December. Reviewed by Claire Roderick
Jest End returns to Waterloo east Theatre with a new cast and some new numbers, but with the same scathing humour and insanity.
The business of show is a fickle thing, so gone are all traces of Miss Saigon, Killian Donnelly and Bend It Like Beckham. Garry Lake fills these spots with spot on mickey takes of School Of Rock, Motown, Half A Sixpence and the closing of Jersey Boys. Lin-Manuel Miranda doesn’t escape, with hysterical numbers about Hamilton and In The Heights hitting all the right notes – with some very dodgy hip hop moves thrown in. The problem of TV and C list stars on stage still looms large in the show, along with the diversity of West End casting, and some of the shorter numbers are the hardest hitting, with a million reasons to hate Calendar Girls and Sarah Harding reading her reviews making me feel a bit like a school bully for laughing.
Some familiar numbers remain in the show, still feeling fresh and making me laugh like a loon. The Les Mis finale is simply fantastic – with the Jackman – Crowe animosity played brilliantly.
The cast all have amazing voices and are game for anything – just see their Lion King outfits in the opening number! Jemma Alexander manages to be rib achingly funny and tug at your heart strings with her portrayal of a desperate auditioning actress, and her aging Eponine and part time Christine are a hoot. Adam Bailey makes a worryingly convincing Miss Trunchbull and John Barrowman, while his Javert is deeply disturbing. Bronte Barbe’s Ariel and Billy Elliot are brilliant, and Daniel Buckley’s Hugh Jackman and rapping Cameron Mackintosh will make you spit out your drink.
Jest End is perfect entertainment for fans and haters of musicals alike. Fantastically funny and full of bite, this show is just what you need on a miserable Winter night. GO AND SEE IT!!!