Set in 1920s New York,
The show looks beautiful. The costumes are lavish and glitzy, and the staging is theatrical
The score is a smouldering jazz soundtrack played live on stage by a band who are kept busy throughout. Their work is perfectly complimented by Drew McOnie’s choreography. The dance numbers in the show range from the entertaining to the downright dark, with everything perfectly pitched to compliment a variety of musical influences. Songs noticeably outnumber dialogue which is probably no bad thing. The songs are witty in places, and emotional in others, although none are particularly memorable.
Gloria Obianyo and Genesis Lynea give standout performances as the D’Armano brothers. Their smooth-moving, possibly-incestuous double act is a real highlight. The decision to cast women in these originally-male roles saves the show from seeming overly stereotypical in its cast of characters.
The show looks beautiful. The costumes are lavish and glitzy, and the staging is theatrical – as well it should be for a show about a group of performers. The set is kept sparse to give the performers room to do their thing, but there’s just enough there to evoke the walk-up apartment of an indebted past-her-peak vaudeville performer. There’s even a bathtub, which is used just enough to avoid it seeming unnecessary, but those in the first couple of rows should be aware that they might be hit by a few drops of bathtub gin. Let’s be honest, though, there are worse things to be hit by.
The production stumbles in its plot, or lack thereof. Just over half of the show is devoted to introducing the characters. Admittedly, there are a lot of them, but The Wild Party manages to make it all the way to the interval without anything actually happening. We’re given tantalising hints at storylines, but none of them come to fruition in any satisfying way. By the time the show reaches its Act Two climax the whole thing feels underdeveloped simply because there is no build-up to it.
That being said, the ultimate goal of any show should be to transport you to another time and place, and that definitely happens. The Wild Party is a feast for the eyes, even if it isn’t much of one for the brain. Now, does anybody else fancy a G&T?