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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Scandalous suburbia is the setting for a promising new musical comedy. Swing! serves up a trio of yummy mummies swooning over their tennis coach, a over-friendly school teacher and teenage crushes aplenty. The central concept of a middle-class musical with its references to John Lewis is inspired. But satirical opportunities are missed and the characters not clearly enough defined for something so evidently tongue-in-cheek.

With an oversized cast of 12 playing 15 named characters, the plot is too complex for a 75-minute romp. Negligible character development affects audience engagement, and the strong, enthusiastic cast have to ham it skywards to keep up the momentum.

At the heart of the problems may be the dangerous creative situation where the writer of the script has also composed the lyrics, music and is even directing. The scribe in question (Lauren Bensted) has a bright future but not in all of these areas: the theatrical polymath is a rare breed.

Most perplexing of all, the five piece band has a conductor. Not someone at a keyboard nodding their head at appropriate cues, but a guy on a raised stool waving a pen. Five Guys Named Moe at the gigantic McEwan Hall doesn't even have a conductor.

The climax of the production involves exactly that: the entire cast watching a video of the local tennis champion reaching the heights of onanistic pleasure. Yet a lot of people staring at a video, which the audience – thankfully - don't see, is not remotely theatrical and a bit of a damp conclusion. This show may have balls, but it's not a smash.


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