‘Curtains‘ is a fun, toe-tapping musical based around a murder mystery in a Boston theatre that, anyone who enjoys a bit of mystery mixed with romance and humour, should go see straight away.
This should come as no surprise to those who are familiar with writing duo Kander and Ebb, the longest-running music and lyrics partnership in Broadway and musical history, also the writers of the musical ‘Chicago’.
‘Curtains’ begins with the washed-up lead actress of a wild-west themed Robin Hood musical, Jessica Cranshaw, portrayed by Nia Jermin, being poisoned after opening night.
This leads star-struck broadway wannabe Lieutenant Frank Cioffi, portrayed by the hilarious Jason Manford, to investigate the murder.
As he locks down the theatre, more cast and crew members are picked off one by one in an on-stage portrayal of Cluedo, broadway-style.
This musical is a love letter to classical broadway shows, with upbeat musical numbers, amazing costumes, and eye-catching choreography.
The clever use of a show within a show allows for many fourth-wall breaks that will have you chuckling at the tongue-in-cheek nature of it all in the audience.
The mystery will keep you in suspense and have you guessing, as each cast member is accused of murder.
Jason Manford shows that he’s more than just a comedian by singing, dancing and acting, all with a Boston accent.
He plays the plucky, charismatic broadway enthusiast perfectly, having the right amount of childish naivety to him whilst still being able to provide a serious performance when necessary.
The Lieutenant’s romance with actress Niki Harris, portrayed by Leah Barbara West, is also very endearing and sweet as they both share a true passion for musical theatre.
Songwriters Georgia Hendricks and Aaron Fox, portrayed by Carley Stenson and Andy Coxon respectively, also share an emotional on-stage romance as ex-lovers who learn to fall in love with each other again through their love of music writing.
Aaron’s solo, ‘I Miss the Music’, was a particularly emotional number, that was probably my favourite of the entire night, as he confesses that he still loves Georgia, despite their fallout.
Rebecca Lock does a fantastic job of portraying the brash and crass Carmen Bernstein, earning plenty of laughter from the audience with her straight-to-the-point humour.
Her struggling relationship with attention-seeking stage daughter Bambi Bernét, acted by Emma Caffrey, allows for a softer side of Lock’s character to be shown in a wonderful heart-touching moment between mother and daughter.
Alan Burkitt also wows as Bobby Pepper, an amazing dancer who always turns, leaps and sashay’s with enough grace to make any audience member envious.
However, the absolute standout of the show has to go to Samuel Holme’s portrayal of the quick-witted and excentric Christopher Belling who consistently caught the audience off-guard.
His one-liners and sarcastic comments had plenty of audience members reeling and clutching at their stomachs, earning him a well-deserved standing applause.
All-in-all, if you’re looking for a funny, mystery-filled romance story, peppered with songs and dance then head to the Regent Theatre, or your local theatre, to catch the latest showing of ‘Curtains’.