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Bipolar dysfunction just isn’t the obvious topic for a musical. However as a style of heightened feelings, endlessly toggling between euphoria and despair, maybe it’s the proper automobile. Principally sung by, accompanied by a wonderful six-piece band on balcony stage, this Tony award-winning present stirringly depicts a lady’s steeply deteriorating situation and the havoc it wreaks on her household. There are even just a few laughs.
It opens on a kitchen set — clear traces, mild wooden, a tall fridge and a Bauhaus poster — the place Diana (Caissie Levy) chats to her teenage son and surprises Dan (Jamie Parker), her husband of a few years, with a suggestion of intercourse, thereby grossing out her grumpy 16-year-old daughter. The prospect of a fast fumble delights Dan moderately than alerting him to Diana’s upswing right into a manic section. Subsequent factor she’s hurling ham and cheese slices into a military’s value of sandwiches, which might be high quality besides the bread’s mendacity everywhere in the ground. A lovely air of home realism pervades, with bin baggage, the scraping of plates and mopping of spills, and there’s a working faucet on the island unit, positioned on the revolve that echoes Diana’s spinning psychological state.
To this point, histrionic delicate rock has been the pervading soundtrack (scored by Tom Kitt), however with the arrival of the professionals comes the razzmatazz, because the forged don white medical coats and use capsule bottles as maracas. It’s a welcome mild second. Trevor Dion Nicholas entertainingly performs each Dr Advantageous and Dr Madden, probably not differentiated, however maybe that’s the purpose. With their pixie options and large eyes, Jack Wolfe and Eleanor Worthington-Cox make believable siblings as Gabe and Natalie, their mom’s predicament impacting them in several methods.
Wolfe electrifies with the Nirvana-esque rock-out “I’m Alive”, counterpointed by Worthington-Cox’s spirited “Superboy and the Invisible Lady”, Natalie’s plea to not take second place to her brother. Natalie’s burgeoning romance with candy, foolish Henry (Jack Ofrecio) could even be the set off for Diana’s decline as she contemplates her personal stale emotional life.
The lyrics (e book by Brian Yorkey) are efficient moderately than impressed, with rhymes you may spot a mile off, particularly coming after dramatic pauses: one thing up your sleeve, make you consider and so forth. Electro-convulsive remedy is kind of the opener for the second half — the island unit kinds the working desk — after which Diana forgets she ever had a son, whereas Wolfe lurks spectre-like on the margins.
Director Michael Longhurst has the household continually scampering and whirling across the set as they attempt to scramble collectively the naked parts of normality. Levy has the toughest job, delivering stretches of emotional exposition Joni Mitchell-style, however her portrayal of the sheer scariness of Diana’s situation is spectacular, with bodily nimbleness expressing psychological confusion and restlessness. As the entire forged bellows rock tunes over Diana’s head it makes a match metaphor for her inside din — no matter your style in music.
To October 7, donmarwarehouse.com