The Stripper at the St James Theatre
A young girl’s mysterious suicide, a shady Matchmaking agency and a flower-selling Casanova. These unusual ingredients form the sizzling new addition to London’s musical scene, The Stripper, a riveting whodunnit at the St James Theatre.
Aspiring actress Patty Keller’s suicide raises questions for Lieutenant Wheeler: did she jump, was she pushed, or did she fall? Driven by this mystery, Wheeler investigates Patty’s life, her estranged cousin, exotic dancer Deadpan Dolores, her visits to a lonely hearts club and her date with the dubious flower shop owner, Harvey Stern. Wheeler gets sucked deeper and deeper into a network of criminality and, at points, is just as promiscuous as his suspects.
Contrary to most whodunnits, The Stripper’s plot is not entirely predictable from the start and keeps viewers on their toes. The songs break the tension of the investigation and add a layer of humour to the gloomy subject matter. Director Benji Sperring has done a marvellous job of utilising the small space the St James Studio provides; the theatre is set up like a bar, supporting an immersive experience. Guests are greeted by some of the characters at the door and during the show the audience is asked to hold a prop here and there or to engage with Lieutenant Wheeler during his investigation.
Though the cast is comprised of only five actors, some of them portraying more than three characters, they switch so seamlessly from role to role that one hardly notices that the same person is performing on stage. The individual parts themselves are incredibly well written and the action simply flies by. Sebastien Torkia as Lieutenant Wheeler is brilliant, he captures the comical facets of the detective in both voice and movement perfectly. Gloria Onitiri as Deadpan Dolores is equally captivating, her voice having a Whitney Houston-like quality to it. Michael Steedon, Marc Pickering and Hannah Grover in their various roles complete the set of marvellous performances and give the musical further humour and charm.
A definite must-see for musical fans!
Photo: Origin8 Photography
The Stripper is on at the St James Theatre from 7th July until 13th August 2016. Book your tickets here.
Watch the trailer for The Stripper here: