First and foremost I have to admit to having broken one of the rules of reviewing – this is only going to be a partial review. The air-conditioning in the OFS Studio had broken down and so the temperature in the auditorium was in the high 30s and I felt unable to return after the interval. I believe a critic has a duty to remain throughout but the conditions did not make that prospect a pleasant one.
However it was not the heat that convinced me to leave. It was the piece itself.
I honestly believe this to be one of the worst scripts I have ever seen performed. The plot manages to be both derivative and wafer-thin. The characters never rise above being stereotypes – and in the case of the gay character – a stereotype so outdated that it was close to being offensive.
The authors claim to be trying to create a line-dancing equivalent to Mamma Mia! However they fail to understand that you need more than a thin plot and some tunes to put together a feel-good mass market musical.
There is an outside possibility that the second half showed a more developed set of characters involved in something that approached a dramatic situation. However the evidence from the first half does not give any indication of such a radical transformation.
It has all the qualities of a show you might find in a village hall – not a theatre charging £12 a ticket.
(The good news is that by the time you read this review, the air-conditioning has been repaired!)