Thursday, November 22

Bare

- July 7, 2017

Brighton has always been awash with talent, young and not so young, but last night I was witness to the coming together of a quite extraordinary group of young people performing a show that until a week or two ago I was unfamiliar with. Bare is something of a cult musical, but after last night’s thrilling performance I fail to see why. I will admit that the venue is acoustically challenging, swallowing the top of the register, but the sheer power and commitment of this cast overcame that and delivered a spellbinding show. I’m not the kind of reviewer that will tell you the story, I trust that you will enjoy it all the more for that, but I will say that it is a poignant tale of forbidden love, that, given the Catholic churches immovable stance on gay issues, is as relevant today as ever. The work is through-sung, very little straight dialogue and very demanding of a cast who are not only tackling complex solos and ensemble pieces, but are also dancing, dances brilliantly choreographed by Sarah-Leanne Humphreys.

The major roles, Peter played by Ethan Whitcombe and Jason by Jamie Landmann are beautifully realised and sung, their devastating story is not an easy one to convey but they do it with style and conviction. So too do the rest of the cast, Ivy by Elizabeth Walker, Nadia by Grace Leeder, Matt by Ollie Wray, one of the harder roles to get right, and Sister Chantelle played by Megan Sayer who absolutely nails her two solo numbers and adds a moment of light humour to this dark tale.

The rest of this tireless cast are stunning too, not a weak voice amongst them, which must have made casting a trial for director Conor Baum, who also sings the role of the priest from off stage, a clever device that gives the part a strange duality.

To see and hear so much talent gathered together is an ummissable gift, truly must see musical theatre of the very highest calibre and I am sure that over their two week run they will gather real momentum and no doubt many fans.

Bare

7 July

Brighton One Church

Andrew Kay

5 stars


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