This light-hearted Beggar’s Opera-esque musical is definitely one of the most pleasurable shows I have seen in a while. Played by a small cast of experienced and accomplished actors, the lack of pretension and simple ambition to just make a funny, entertaining show, is something that I think makes it inherently successful.
The Opinion Makers takes a light hearted look at the corruption within society, using marketing and rebranding as its backdrop.
From making up market research to manipulating statistics, The Opinion Makers takes a light hearted look at the corruption within society, using marketing and rebranding as its backdrop. We drop in to the action when the dimwitted head of a Marketing Company ‘Fernsby’, played by the charismatic Christophe Phillips, has just returned from the USA and becomes embroiled in the rebranding of Dr Campbell’s Lotion, owned by the over-the-top Scotsman Campbell (David Mounfield). We are taken on a journey through the rebranding process, from market research to the release of the new product. A typical farcical timeline, we are introduced to a plethora of entertaining characters, each as corrupted as the next, and all as equally amusing.
Special mentions are reserved for Emma Kilbey whose comic timing and facial expressions made the audience warm instantly to Lassiter, Mr Fernsby’s doting secretary. Also, to Lloyd Ryan Thomas’ presentation of Penhall - a street-wise cockney whose aversion to work is strangely appealing.
Despite the challenges associated with playing a live band in a small venue, the singing and music complemented each other perfectly. I was on the side of the stage with the band but found I could hear the singing with utter clarity. Although they weren’t necessarily knockout West End voices, I found they sang with a charm that even appealed to the cynic within me.
As well as the appeal of the play, the simplicity of the storyline and its aversion to tackling serious issues are also its downfall. The issues explored have been examined to death and do not really take the audience anywhere new; still it’s the only real issue for this production.
All in all, I would recommend this to any casual theatre-goer just looking for a non-thinking evening, as it’s guaranteed entertainment and a good evening.