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Not Another Musical (Henham Park, Latitude Festival)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Writers Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Katie Lyons probably don’t have too many friends involved in those trial-by-jury television talent shows at the moment nor, come to that, on the musical theatre circuit.

Their latest outing for Look Left Look Right Theatre Company is a deliciously cruel parody of overblown West End musicals – even The Lord himself (Lloyd Webber) doesn’t escape as The Phantom Of The Opera comes in for a savage beating.

As if that weren’t dangerous enough, meet Simon Cowell – Look Left Look Right style – with a tortuously bad (and fixed) talent show called Strictly Britain’s Got The X-Factor Voice , won – inevitably – by a man in a wheelchair and a monkey.

As each scene in Not Another Musical progresses, the audience recognises a snippet of a familiar West End/Broadway tune, which then morphs into something else, courtesy of composer John Tilley – not enough to give the lawyers business, but sufficient to register. The large cast work beautifully together, creating multiple characters that drive forward the comic narratives of each of the three set pieces.

Not Another Musical isn’t without fault; the X-Factor parody scene perhaps lacks some pace and goes on a tad longer than is necessary. Nor are some of the ideas new – as long ago as 2008, comedian Peter Kay brought us Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice – but, bolstered by such wonderfully slick and original material as “The Internet: The Musical”, we can forgive them a few failings.

With a few prudent trims, possibly a grower, but even at this stage there is much to commend.


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