Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Theatre review: Victor/Victoria
Designer Martin Thomas has come up with a lot of flamboyantly androgynous costumes for Victor and "his" chorus of boys and girls, and has rearranged the Vault into a traverse with added cabaret table seating (sold at a premium, but the view from the regular seating banks is great as well.) Southerland and choreographer Lee Proud continue to use the space confidently in a number of big song and dance numbers that the cast give a breathless enthusiasm to.
Cabaret, Victor/Victoria is partly a portrait of a Europe that was becoming increasingly open-minded just before the Second World War, and it takes the intrusion of some of King's American colleagues to inject any hint of homophobia into the story. I'm not sure whether Edwards' book, which Southerland has made some revisions to, is perhaps a bit overly generous with how open-minded Parisian society was about homosexuality - and would the word "gay" have been used quite as commonly then in its modern meaning as we see in the play? But my quibbles with the show are mostly minor - it's much fluffier in its dealings with gender and sexuality than Cabaret but it's entertaining and the production makes the most of the material.
Victor/Victoria by Blake Edwards, Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse, with additional music by Frank Wildhorn and revisions by Thom Southerland, is booking until the 15th of December at Southwark Playhouse's Vault.
Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes including interval.