15-21 August, 14.00
The Pleasance's own young company tells the tale of 1950's Soho, a melting pot of immigrants from all over the world. It is a fascinating story and an ambitious production, which needs some work to make it coherent.
Like the building the story is set in, the adaptation is sprawling and unruly though of course this may have to do with the truncation necessary to fit a time slot. The production suffers from a jarring variation in tone in the way scenes are played. Some stories are very well played naturalistically while others seem to be informed by bad 1970's sitcoms.
It does best in the big production numbers, where the audibility problems, which affect some of the more intimate scenes, are less of an issue.
The company is committed, undoubtedly talented and hard-working. A live jazz band play a pleasant score and there is a musical and an idea, which with reshaping and refocusing, could be very good indeed.