Jump

There’s a professional gloss on Tank Production’s new musical, Jump, which should be reason enough to put it on your Festival consideration list. But combine that reason with a healthy collection of witty tunes, solid performances and some of the filthiest one-liners you’re going to hear at the Fringe, and I can see this show is going to be one of those that attract that sought-after marketing nirvana, Festival Buzz. And it’s already happening. Amongst the ‘what-have-you-seen’ conversations I've heard over the last couple of days, Jump is gaining fans.The action opens atop a high rise tower, where it seems our hero, Danny, is going to fling himself off into the traffic below. Before he can do anything rash, he’s joined on the ledge by a hack reporter intent on a salacious story for the local rag. The tale unfolds as Danny attempts to steer the journalist a little closer to the truth.Despite the morbid nature of a suicidal plot, above all this is a comedy. Indeed Kelly Kingham’s script is brimming with unexpected gems that so catch the audience off-guard that the cast have to hold for considerable periods at some points to let the laugher die down. There’s also ingenious subtlety, the sort of thing a second viewing will reveal. There are several clever gags that are still rattling around my head. You’ll know what I mean when you see the show.The characterisations are delectably diverse, and it feels unfair to isolate any of the cast for particular praise as they are universally good – but I did so love Lowri-Ann Richard’s wickedly devious portrayal of Danny’s mother, Ruth and Stuart Saint’s campery as the drag queen Cassie - secret lover of Danny’s father, Maurice. There’s notable musical talent her too. Emma Odell, who breathes such wonderfully comic life into the part of Danny’s girlfriend Niamh has recently appeared as a soloist on the Stephen Sondheim 80th Birthday Prom and Jonathan Dryden Taylor, who does a great job in the role of the reporter here, was on a Pleasance stage last year in the sensational Scott Mills the Musical as Chappers. Completing the cast are Rebecca Hutchinson as Sarah, who transforms from schoolgirl geek to sultry vamp with Cassie’s help, and Danny himself, effortlessly realised by Jonathan Eiø. Musical Director Desmond O’Connor conjures their melodic harmonies admirably – although to be fair, he’s working with pretty good material.If you’ve ever been involved in a production at the Fringe, you’ll know there’s not a lot of time in between shows for set up and strike, and additionally, when sharing a space with six other companies, you don’t get a lot of space to store your set. So you’ll forgive me if I’m still scratching my head wondering how the hell Tank Productions managed to put that scenery up, and where are they putting it afterwards? It’s impossibly ambitious for the Fringe, but I’m so glad they did, as the usual fare of a black box and blocks would dull this piece. Patrick Wilde’s tight direction makes use of its levels and dimensions brilliantly, although I would suggest you get a seat in the front, as I suspect on the very edges of the auditorium there’s so much of the set, that blocking might be an issue.Jump isn’t a world-changing show, but the stellar cast, great direction, ridiculously grand set and laugh-out-loud script make it a must-see this Fringe.

Reviews by Sue Denham

Greenwich Theatre

Lizzie

★★★★★
Multiple Venues

La Voix: Red Hot Globe Trot

★★★★★
Leicester Square Theatre

The Adventures of Dick!

★★★★★
Leicester Square Theatre

Dick!

★★★★★
The Assembly Rooms

Worbey and Farrell's House Party

★★★★★
White Rose Rotunda

Reginald D Hunter

★★★

The Blurb

In a world obsessed with 'living the dream' can our poor bewildered hero discover what really matters in life? A hilarious new musical about sex, lies, dreams of love - and hoping it's not too late! www.jumpthemusical.com