Urinetown: The Musical

Urinetown is both bleak and brilliant. Set in a future dystopia where water is so precious a commodity that all people have to pay for the ‘privilege to pee’, else be sent away to the mysterious ‘Urinetown’, this is a biting satire that manages to delight and appal in equal measure.

This is a biting satire that manages to delight and appal in equal measure.

The show is irreverent in its humour, sending up classic tropes of musicals, with one of the sadistic policemen doubling as a narrator who points out any and all plot holes, narrative devices and big song and dance numbers. With such a knowing look at the musical form, it has the perfect set-up, with fantastic melodies and harmonies, one particularly excellent piece of choreography, and of course a gushy love story to round it all off. Unfortunately, this is the weakest part of the show, presumably being thrown in because the musical form dictates there should be two young naïve lovebirds, complete with Romeo and Juliet-style forbidden love and cringeworthy love duet. While all other parts of the show satirise and mock, this feels too lazy and simply isn’t as strong lyrically or musically, with Bobby Strong himself being one of the weakest singers in the cast.

It’s the supporting characters who make this show: Little Sally, a destitute orphan, and Ms. Pennywise, the morally questionable proprietor of Public Amenity #9, and the larger-than-life villain, Mr. Cladwell who truly shine. These stellar performances, coupled with powerhouse songs, carry the show’s anti-capitalist and environmentalist message, as faces of poverty and corruption. Despite being witty throughout, this cautionary tale has the power to shock and leave a lasting impact, ultimately making hope seem like a naïve and selfish concept. Expect fun, thrills and tunes that will stick in your head for days – but you won’t necessarily be leaving the theatre with a big smile on your face. 

Reviews by Carys Evans

The Battersea Barge

I Love You You're Perfect Now Change

★★★
The Crazy Coqs Cabaret & Jazz Club

Ray Shell - Back To Black II

★★★
Camden People's Theatre

The Forensics of a Flat (and other stories)

★★★
Leicester Square Theatre / THE LONDON THEATRE - New Cross

Jo Burke: Burke Shire

★★★
St James Theatre

Urinetown: The Musical

★★★★

Back To Black

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

In a city of the future that has been inflicted with a terrible drought, business tycoon Caldwell B. Cladwell has made his fortune through bribery and the monopolization of all public toilets. With a brutal police force maintaining law and order, it’s not a place to get caught short! Risk it and you will be sent off to a place no one returns from - the infamous Urinetown.
 
The city needs a revolution and every revolution needs a hero... however unlikely.
 
An epic tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution set in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. This hilarious satirical comedy finally hits London after its Tony Award-winning Broadway success. Directed by Olivier Award-winner Jamie Lloyd and designed by Soutra Gilmour, this promises to be THE stand out musical opening in London.

Most Popular See More

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets