Should he go to heaven or face eternal damnation? The audience decide in this fresh and raucously funny musical. Quite Nice Theatre present This Was Your Life, a parody of many American style chat-shows. Enter the theatre and you will be transformed into its live audience. Complete with smarmy producer and inept techies, you review the evidence, before deciding whether Michael should go upstairs or down.
The three actors take on a plethora of different roles, moving between them with effortless grace. Will Guppy makes an excellent producer, who at the start of the show walks round and demands authoritatively that the ‘studio audience’ give him any gum they might be chewing. He also plays the hapless subject of the show. Michael has recently died in a car-crash and now the smooth host, (Sam Harding) displays clips of his life so we can judge. First is his angry and spoilt ex-fiancé, who wishes she could have killed him before the crash did. Consequently we hear the damning tale of Michael’s affair with Frauline Mimi, who incidentally doubles as our male host. All long blond locks and hairy chest, Mimi lures Michael away from his fiancé. (Marina Waters) But does he have hell to pay for it? You decide. Various anecdotes follow, as family members, friends and briefly the chip shop owner are all brought under the spotlight.
The most invasive moments are particularly brilliant. A couple of loud-mouths (Harding and Waters) throw themselves down next to me, proclaiming Mimi a ‘sket’ and gossiping about the show, before falling into each-other’s arms like frantic teenagers. Mimi flirts with a woman in the front row and Mr Smarmy introduces himself to individuals, quickly moving through with characteristic insincerity.
This talented company guarantee a unique and memorable experience. A few cheap laughs and a bit of shaky singing does not detract from a thoroughly enjoyable performance.