27 at the CockpitCultureTheatre
The new musical written by Sam Cassidy and co-directed by Arlene Phillips tells the story of Orpheus (played by Greg Oliver) and his relationship to himself and to the people closest to him as he first has to cope with being a struggling, unknown artist and then with being a world famous rock star.
27 is big, special, explosive. It has the scale, quality and mainstream appeal of some of the very best long-running West End shows and yet, for some reason, it is tucked away at a fringe theatre in the backstreets of Marylebone. A shame, because with only 180 seats, it is unlikely that everyone will get to see 27 before it ends its run in October. But the musical provides an even greater experience for those that are lucky enough to see it and who get to be up close and personal with one of the best productions London has to offer.
Maybe there are no I Dreamed a Dreams or Defying Gravitys in the mix, but the music, by Matt Wills, is certainly every bit as phenomenal as the rest of the production. And it’s all performed flawlessly by absolutely unbelievable talent, such as Cassie Compton, Ryan Molloy and the mesmerising Lucy Martin, and brought to life even more with awe-inspiring lighting.
More than anything, Sam Cassidy deserves to be commended for his writing: the lyrics are amazing, and the opening scene with Fate’s creepy half-rhyming monologue is incredible. But some of the more subtle details are the most perfect. There is a particular moment with Jack Donnelly’s character, Max, which is utter genius and has the entire crowd roaring with laughter.
But 27 is not just a big spectacle. There’s real, raw and personal depth to every element that many will be able to relate to. And even those who don’t will still feel touched.
This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a truly big, spectacular musical in the intimacy of a small theatre (at very small theatre prices no less). But more than that, this show will leave people giddy, feeling like they’ve witnessed something special.
27 is on at Cockpit Theatre from 8th September to 22nd October 2016. For further information, or to book, visit here.