Ushers at the Charing Cross Theatre
Currently showing for six weeks at the Charing Cross Theatre, Ushers is a musical with humble beginnings about the trials and tribulations of a front-of-house theatre team. The show started life as a submission to the Soho Theatre’s Search for a Twitter Composer competition in 2013. Having made it to the finals, a subsequent stint of fundraising on Kickstarter achieved a £1,000 budget, enabling the creative team of songwriters to bring it to life.
Liveliness is the key ingredient to Yiannis Koutsakos, James Oban and James Rottger’s tale of difficult romance, desperation and one dastardly boss. The five titular ushers are played with aplomb by a talented cast. Following a lengthy tour as the love-lorn Columbia with The Rocky Horror Show last year, Ceris Hines delivers a hilarious performance as Rosie. A lovesick and dippy actor-groupie, Rosie devotes most of her time to attracting her next conquest and then writing about it (with photographs) on the internet. Her standout number, Leading Men is about this alarming stalking habit.
Elsewhere, Gary and Ben (played by Daniel Buckley and Liam Ross-Mills) struggle with their not-so-blissful relationship and Stephen (Ross McNeil) attempts to woo new-start Lucy (Carly Thomas), who is not what she seems. Their frustrating, career-obsessed boss Robin is played, in malevolent style, by Jacob Chapman.
All plays out in a realm ruled over by the unsubtly named Andrew Lloyd-Mackintosser, and the entire show is peppered with critical references to West End culture as a whole. The overpricing of everything from programmes to interval drinks and public figures such a Michael Ball are all targeted, viciously but with mirth. It makes for a fun and frivolous evening, although some of the humour is crude and predictable. Ushers is perhaps best suited to those who know the theatre industry well and will best appreciate the numerous in-jokes.
Ushers is on at Charing Cross Theatre until 7th June 2014. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch a trailer for Ushers here: