Welcome to Alice and Harry’s house party. We are personally greeted by Alice and plied with punch. Crisps anyone? Being bored or feeling awkward are most people's fears when entering the unknown realms of a house party but neither of these are a possibility as our consummate and entertaining hosts do their best to ensure the comfort and amusement of their guests. With games, sing-a-longs, party food (“no meat treats”) and shots, the audience is very much a part of the action and the diminutive, cosy venue adds to the sensation that you are part of an intimate gathering.
With games, sing-a-longs, party food (“no meat treats”) and shots, the audience is very much a part of the action and the diminutive, cosy venue adds to the sensation that you are part of an intimate gathering.
Unlike Alice and Harry, the theme of House of Blakewell’s musical comedy is up-to-the minute – poking fun at the pretentiousness of hipsters and their brand of individualism. We join Alice and Harry as they make the geographical move from Woking to Peckham and attempt the more challenging cultural transition from musical-loving innocents to edgy hipsters. Alice has fallen for Wolf – a blacksmith, sculptor and part-time bicycle courier who lives in a warehouse and hates the bourgeoisie - and Harry joins her (in a guise akin to Rev meets The Pet Shop Boys) as he eschews musicals and attempts to pass himself off as a drum and bass producer. Drawing on a repertoire of power ballads and show tunes the duo touch on cyber-stalking, social media (“canapés, she reheated them; nobody retweeted them”) and shots culture, calling on us to “drink until we’re beautiful and interesting”.
Alice Keedwell’s confident performance puts the audience at ease and her faultless voice is at times, positively poignant. For the most part, the show is consistent with the genre: a basic plot, tuneful songs, a good dose of funny lines and a sprinkling of dance. There are however, moments of brilliance. In particular, Harry Blake’s composition of a Klezmer inspired number in which the protagonists progress from playing recorders to oboes and the audience, like snakes in a basket, are mesmerised by Blake’s skill. It would be great to see this talent explored further; but in the meantime, the party ends with a suitably vivacious number and the partygoers leave happy and well entertained.