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Grim – A New Musical at The Charing Cross Theatre

| Music, Theatre | 14/08/2014

Rating:

As dry ice fills the air and an eerie blue light illuminates the stage, the gothic intentions of Untold Theatre’s new musical are set out from the off. The show starts strongly with numbers Cupids Soliloquy and The Only Certainty in Life is Death, the refrain of the latter impressively belted out by the enthusiastic cast. However, while this chorus stays with us after the show, the other songs have unmemorable melodies and ordinary lyrics.

Grim is crammed with teenaged angst as all the female characters swoon after Cupid (Anthony Matteo) while collectively rounding on the ‘freakish’ characters Amelia (Georgi Mottram) and Grim (Roseanna Christoforou). Despite the incongruous pairing of Cupid and the Grim Reaper; the former a character out of Classical Mythology and the latter emerging around the 15th Century, the interplay between the two works reasonably well. The conflicting powers of love and death give the melodrama of the school ball that extra bit of spice.

What the play lacked musically was in some part made up by the fervor of Adam Jay-Price and Sam Laithwood’s choreography. While the players pranced and spun and kicked as if their lives depended on it, audience members in the front row cowered for fear of an over-zealous school-boy miss-judging a leap and falling in their laps.

Though Fiona O’Malley’s plot lacked complexity, this is perhaps to be expected at a time where theatres are becoming less and less inclined to show adventurous new writing. Furthermore the play told us that young hearts and eternal love were on the line, rather than showing us that this was the case. Thus it was hard to feel invested in the characters on stage because we didn’t really believe in them.

In Grim – A New Musical, a young cast is somewhat let down by a script that fails to challenge or surprise. This isn’t to say that there were no enjoyable moments. Roseanna Christoforou’s lovely voice and the ominous hooded specters standing in the aisles kept us sufficiently entertained throughout the evening.

Grim: A New Musical plays at the Charing Cross Theatre, London, WC2N 6NL, until 30 August 2014. Tickets are £10 – £19.50. To book visit www.charingcrosstheatre.co.uk.

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