Hair

Hair is the ultimate hippy musical, featuring the now household-hits Aquarius, Good Morning Starshine and Let the Sunshine In. It was originally a reaction to the forced conscription in the Vietnam war, but has been used to great effect in recent years in a more contemporary fashion.

Sadly the production currently at C Venues doesn't really exploit the full opportunity. Any chance to draw comparisons between the 60s and today have been missed. Hair, equally famous for its nudity as its songs, is also fully clothed in this show - spare a little action in boxer shorts.

The show follows 'The Tribe', a group of activists including Claude (Tom Gatley) and Berger (Sam Ross). They oppose Claude's draft notice and are both sexually involved with Sheila (Claire Palmer). Together with Jeanie (Rosalind West), Woof (Kieran Pugh), Chrissy (Naomi Hudson) and Dionne (Jairus Obayomi) they epitomise the hippy days of the late sixties.

There are some serious problems with the show, the biggest of which is they are out of tune. I suspect this is because the cast can't hear a monitor speaker on stage, and this is bound to lead to problems with an amplified voice. Hair is also a musical that demands great energy from an actor, and a great deal of control of their breathing in order to reach the back of the auditorium through some of the more exuberant scenes without it coming across garbled. They've not quite nailed this yet, and a lot of the dialog is lost.

Some of the acting shows promise, such as Pugh (Woof) and Palmer (Sheila), but they really need to tighten this show up before it's ready for prime time.

Reviews by Sue Denham

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The Blurb

An updated, abstract rock musical version of the 1960's worldwide hit about love, politics, world views, sex, civil rights, war, and freedom. Filled with hit songs, mixed-media and reinterpreted to coincide with today's dreams and nightmares.

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