Bathhouse: The Musical at Above the StagCultureTheatre
Debuting in London after huge success in the United States back in 2006, Bathhouse: The Musical is a raunchy, high-energy production that will leave you giggling in your seats.
Written by Tim Evanicki and Esther Daack, the very loosely structured plot follows the journey of a young boy named Billy and his experiences at his local bathhouse. Having only recently come out as a gay man, he decides the bathhouse is the perfect place to meet a potential lover, but he soon learns that he may have got more than he bargained for…
Unfortunately, there is no real depth to the storyline, which renders the plot somewhat superficial. However, the show admittedly does not claim to be about anything of gravity, but instead strives to charm its audience through its unique candour and musicality.
Directed by Tim McArther, the production’s strengths derive largely from its music. The original lyrics alongside incredibly catchy piano pieces ensure a very light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek atmosphere is maintained throughout. The script is similarly daring, while also being refreshingly relevant to the modern, average gay man; additions to the script to include references to Grindr were an intelligent move.
Performed at Above the Stag Theatre, the stage is small and simple but the cast utilise it with ease and the set is well-constructed. With a mere 60 seat capacity, audience participation is encouraged by such an intimate setting and the cast make sure to use all available space – even if that may mean the lap of a front-row audience member!
Inevitably, the show has a somewhat restricted audience. This is by no means a family-friendly production, and while its explicitness may delight its target audience, it may leave others feeling a little out of their comfort zone.
Marking the start of LGBT Pride in London this week, Bathhouse: The Musical is something different to the usual theatre experience. If foot-tapping tunes and scandalous humour are what you’re looking for, this is the show for you.
Bathhouse: The Musical is on at Above the Stag Theatre until 20th July 2014, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer from the US tour here: