Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Review: Urinetown: The Musical, by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman, Gallery Players, Sir John Mills Theatre, until April 8

PUBLISHED: 09:15 31 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:15 31 March 2017

Wade Ablitt as Bobby leader of the revolutionaries in The Gallery Players production of Urinetown at the Sir John Mills Theatre. Picture: PETER LING

Wade Ablitt as Bobby leader of the revolutionaries in The Gallery Players production of Urinetown at the Sir John Mills Theatre. Picture: PETER LING

Archant

Urinetown, a musical which has its roots in fringe theatre, imagines a future where water is so scarce that paying for a pee is only way to control the masses and their out of control squandering of the earth’s resources.

Zoe Ransome as Hope n The Gallery Players production of Urinetown at the Sir John Mills Theatre. Picture: PETER LING Zoe Ransome as Hope n The Gallery Players production of Urinetown at the Sir John Mills Theatre. Picture: PETER LING

This is a show with both powerful messages and huge sense of playfulness that, in true Brechtian style, wakes us up from the escapism that most musicals offer by never letting us forget we are watching a show.

Helen Clarke’s direction pulls this fascinating show together with pace and imagination. The ensemble of the “Poor” are clearly defined, even down to the individual ways they queue to pee in this world of the not too distant future.

Bronte Fletcher as Little Sally has a strong voice and presence throughout. Zoe Ransome as Hope, the daughter of the Caldwell B Caldwell- the baddie owner of the corporation- is delightfully comic as she pastiches the musical heroine, as is Martin Leigh as her father who personifies the evil and uncaring capitalist in the hilarious “Don’t Be Bunny” number.

The set, designed by Mali Roberts, is a detailed, dirty vision of a society that has fallen apart. Urban at its most ugly, the public toilet itself, that most of the drama of the first half centres on, is as grim as any you may have experienced. And it is not hard to empathise with how desperate the characters on stage must be – especially when we quickly discover that using the great outdoors is prohibited by law and punishable by death.

Bronte Fletcher as Little Sally in The Gallery Players production of Urinetown at the Sir John Mills Theatre. Picture: PETER LING Bronte Fletcher as Little Sally in The Gallery Players production of Urinetown at the Sir John Mills Theatre. Picture: PETER LING

Urinetown is a clever and funny musical and is an impressive choice for the Gallery Players, which illustrates their commitment to a diverse programme of theatre.

Jackie Montague

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Great British Bake Off withdrawal symptoms? Fear not: there are two festive editions coming to a small screen near you soon on Channel 4

Grab some friends, head to your local cinema and enjoy one of these great films.

Does the cult teenage angst classic Dawson’s Creek stand up to re-watching 20 years after it first aired?

Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley’s impromptu jam session at Sun Records in 1956 was a seminal moment for rock and roll. It inspired the Tony award-winning Broadway and West End smash Million Dollar Quartet, in Ipswich this week. We spoke to its star Martin Kemp.

MasterChef’s Gregg Wallace will serve up some behind the scenes stories and more when he visits Ipswich Corn Exchange next year.

Wildlife film-maker Saba Douglas-Hamilton talks about how motherhood reinvigorated her conservation passion and the challenges the planet’s facing ahead of talks in the region.

Popular countryside TV presenter Jules Hudson is in Ipswich , this week, to talk about his enthusiasm for rural life and his schooldays.

Despite its thrilling action sequences and sterling work from Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot, Zach Synders Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) was impeded by its over reliance on CGI and a poorly written villain.

10 reasons why you need to watch ITV’s Gone to Pot – Bobby George’s toe in vodka, John Fashanu’s karate threat and Pat Butcher smoking a bong while painting a cactus

The Illegal Eagles are perennial favourites at the Regent, bringing country rock to Ipswich where it seems to have found a home.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24