I sat through an hour long fever dream yesterday entitled Timpson the Musical, and to get the recommendation out of the way, I would easily go again. It’s a slapdash style of unrelenting absurdity that makes it hard not to at least crack a smile when you’re sitting there watching, if not laugh outright. Toss in a bit of good music, and some shockingly competent dance, and you’ve got a great show.
It’s absurd, ridiculous, and imperfect, but it is sure as hell entertaining.
Timpson The Musical is about the formation of a dynasty, a tale of love and loss, and a tale of shoes and tiny saws (keys). The Montashoes and the Keypulets hate each other, but a love between their children, Monty and Keeleigh, seeks to bring them together. But this isn’t just a rehash of Romeo and Juliet, it’s actually a lot closer to Airplane! and the movies of Mel Brooks. There’s so many jokes flying so fast that you actually can’t laugh at all of them, even if you wanted to, and I imagine I’d find something new if I came back. This only works if it has a great cast behind it, and it does: full of strong voices, great commitment to the roles, and amazing facial expressions. Special props to Rob Madge and Chris Baker, who turned the absurdity up to 11 any time they were on stage, as well as being quite good dancers to boot.
This absurdity which brings the show up can also knock it down, namely when the actors make some planned flubs. There’s a lot of acknowledgement of the audience, not in character, and while it’s cute at first, it gets old quickly. And this is the problem: while it’s a funny show it’s ridiculousness can go over funny, and knock right back to annoying. It doesn’t for me, but I could understand if it did.
That said, there’s a lot to like here. The music is much better than it should be, with songs like It’s a Tingle and the big finale showing a lot of aptitude. The comedy is bizarre in a way few things are. It’s absurd, ridiculous, and imperfect, but it is sure as hell entertaining.