Lightning strikes, the actors are set, the cameras are rolling – welcome to the world of Legacy Falls. This new musical, penned by James Burn and Ian Poitier follows a successful American soap in its 30th year. From the regretful relics to the hot new things on the block, we delve into off-camera politics and hidden relationships behind the sound stage doors.
Mark Inscoe plays our leading man Jack Monroe with charming likeability – especially in his tender solo number “Usually”. Aimie Atkinson is on top form as the naive newcomer, Amber Fox. Her comical song about the “casting couch” is sung with cheeky precision – a budding Idina Menzel dare I say. Davis Brooks often steals the show as pretty boy, Jed. His vain glances to camera, peck dancing and constant efforts to flex his muscles make for some funny viewing.
Despite these enjoyable performances, the piece struggles to engage its audience. Subplots about stalkers and long lost mothers pop up from nowhere and fail to grab us. Also, musical theatre clichés continually get ticked off the list: soft piano starts – aging character sings about shattered dreams. The formula quickly becomes tiresome and predictable and the piece never decides whether it’s spoofing the television soap or portraying it as a credible art form.
Visually the show feels bland with Georgia Lowe’s wooden set making us feel like we’re sat in a DIY store for the evening. An unexpected homosexual relationship springs up promising dramatic potential. But the professional difficulties, moral frustrations and sexual tension between the characters are instead replaced with a plain scene where two men simply wake up together.
Legacy Falls delivers some entertaining moments but never really enthrals us along the way. This take on the soap isn’t so much a lush lather of a night, but instead a show that could benefit from a good scrub up.