Singing the praises of musical comedy
Up on The Roof, by Simon Moore and Jane Prowse, New Wolsey Theatre, until May 22
SUMMER might still seem a long way off and what with ash clouds, Greek meltdowns and political maelstrom you may be feeling a little on the jaded side.
But if you want to regain a bit of equilibrium then the New Wolsey’s latest offering is just what you need to give you back that warm fuzzy feeling.
Up on the Roof follows the lives of five university friends from their farewell bash on the roof of a student terrace in Hull in 1975 via a church hall in December 1980 on the eve of a wedding to a French villa in 1985.
This is distinctly a play in three halves – each set is elaborately designed and the costumes and hairstyles change dramatically with each period.
The first act concentrates very much on the friends’ hobby of singing a cappella hits of the time for their own amusement and these actors create a lovely laid back sound that really does justice to the distinctive rhythms of songs such as Never can say Goodbye, Stone in Love with You and Band of Gold.
The second and third acts feature more of the friends’ fortunes and changing circumstances as they go their separate ways, but the music still plays a significant role.
- 1 Police cordon in place outside former Grimwades store in Ipswich
- 2 A14 near Ipswich remains partially closed after fire breaks out
- 3 Two knives found in Ipswich park after six teenagers arrested
- 4 10-acre field fire breaks out in south Suffolk village
- 5 Man wanted in connection with Ipswich assault arrested
- 6 Ipswich machete attack was 'gang related', court hears
- 7 Summertime Ipswich to bring the party to the Waterfront next weekend
- 8 'I'm so proud' - Jimmy's Farm scoops three prestigious awards
- 9 Car damaged after object thrown from bridge over A14 outside Ipswich
- 10 One of the world's largest container ships arrives at Port of Felixstowe
All the characters were well drawn and although the pace was a little slow in places, the actors made you care about the lives of these people.
They all have a chance at a solo and each bring something different to the group. Gavin Spokes, as Keith, provides a lot of the humour and there is a little pathos in the relationships - but not too much to disturb the feeling of being relaxed and soothed to the strains of some of the best music to come out of the 70s and 80s.
If you had your teenage years in the 70s you will love this – even if you didn’t this is well worth a look for its feel good factor alone. I recommend you won’t be disappointed.