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on stage once more!
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The 2009 revival of The Stripper with lyrics by Richard O'Brien and music by Richard Hartley.
If you are looking for information on the 2016 production please click here.
"A sensational musical comedy UK premiere and national tour!
California 1961, and there’s trouble in Pine City. This was a case for Lieutenant Al Wheeler.
First call was delectable Deadpan Dolores, a strawberry-blonde who worked at the Club Extravaganza. She didn’t usually keep things under wraps, so what was she hiding?
With a nose for crime and an eye for the ladies, Wheeler will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth.
Characters from Carter Brown’s classic detective fiction jump off the page in this fast-paced musical from the writer of The Rocky Horror Show. Take 18 catchy ice-cool songs by award-winning composer Richard Hartley, add Richard O’Brien’s witty lyrics and you’ll be in pulp-fiction heaven."
Covers for the original book from Kev - click to view larger.
|Queens Theatre [web-link]
Fri 28th Aug, 2009 - 8.00pm Preview
Sat 29th Aug, 2009 - 8.00pm Preview
Tue 1st Sep, 2009 - 7.30pm Press Night
Wed 2nd Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
Thu 3rd Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
Fri 4th Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
Sat 5th Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
Tue 8th Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
Wed 9th Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
Thu 10th Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
Fri 11th Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
Sat 12th Sep, 2009 - 2.30pm / 8.00pm
Tue 15th Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
Wed 16th Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
Thu 17th Sep, 2009 - 2.30pm / 8.00pm
Fri 18th Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
Sat 19th Sep, 2009 - 8.00pm
|Milton-Keynes Theatre [web-link]
Tue 22 Sep, 2009 - 7.30pm
Wed 23 Sep, 2009 - 2.30pm
Wed 23 Sep, 2009 - 7.30pm
Thu 24 Sep, 2009 - 7.30pm
Fri 25 Sep, 2009 - 7.30pm
Sat 26 Sep, 2009 - 2.30pm
Sat 26 Sep, 2009 - 7.30pm
|Kings Theatre [web-link]
Tue 29 Sep, 2009 - 7.30pm
Wed 30 Sep, 2009 - 7.30pm
Thu 01 Oct, 2009 - 7.30pm
Fri 02 Oct, 2009 - 7.30pm
Sat 03 Oct, 2009 - 2.30pm
Sat 03 Oct, 2009 - 7.30pm
Images from the rehearsals. Click here to view! | An interview with Richard click here for the interview.
Stephanie and I went to see the show at the Queens Theatre in Hornchurch, Essex and found it to be a most enjoyable evening at the theatre.
For those of you that don't know the show, it tells the story of the death of a young girl and a cop's mission to find out if there was more to her suicide than first meets the eye. Set in the early 60's the show brings to life Carter Brown's detective Al Wheeler as he tries to solve the mystery of her death. Along the way he meets ex-boyfriends, shady dating-agency owners, mobsters and The Stripper herself, Deadpan Dolores.
Being a musical we get eighteen songs, composed by Richard Hartley with lyrics by Richard O'Brien which lift the show to another level. Man of Steel is one of my favourite numbers and coming as it does just before the interval leaves you wanting as short an intermission as possible before you return to the dark world of Al Wheeler. Other notable numbers are flower shop owner Harvey Stern's song Hearts and Flowers and the very funny I Confess.
The set is based on pulp-fiction, dime a copy novels and cleverly changes from one scene to another. It could have had a little more detail, but without a West End budget the designer has done a good enough job to create the right atmosphere. The clever lighting also helps set the mood as required. Having the live band above the stage on the back of the set is inspired, their dapper suits bringing them into the time period of the production without their presence distracting from the action below. The swimming pool complete with syncronized swimmers as backing vocalists will also remain a favourite memory.
As to the cast. Jonathan Wrather as Al Wheeler and Emma-Jayne Appleyard as Deadpan Dolores shine as the two main characters. They both have great singing voices and are convincing in their roles. Siubhan Harrison as Sherry Mendez sings well, the one criticism I would have is of the dance moves she is given in the second act, they need to be much more or not there at all. Jack Edwards attempts to steal the show (and nearly succeeds) with his creepy flower shop owner character, Harvey Stern.
Richard O'Brien and Gay Soper feature as Mr and Mrs Arkwright, owners of a rather dubious dating agency and making up the rest of the cast are James Earl Adair as both Doc Murphy and the sinister Miles Rovak, Chris Ellis-Stanton as actor Steve Loomas, Sarah Redmond as Annabelle Jackson and Patty and Morgan Deare as Sherriff Lavers.
Overall, a great night out. Highly recommended!
Kev's Review (from the forums)
Saw the show on Saturday night and enjoyed it alot, although I think that having had the original show for years, may have spoilt it a bit for me as a couple of the changed/dropped songs were my favourite.
The set is brilliantly designed and conjoured up, the Club Extravagana, Lonely Hearts club, Sheriffs office and swiming pool at various parts of the show!
The cast were great, some doubling up roles. One was so good I actually wondered were one of the characters was until I realised it was one actor doing both roles!
The band were smooth and lush and played brilliantly if a little over loud from my seats as some of Richards brillaint lyrics got lost in certain songs, which was a shame because his scanning and wordplay was really on form. Forgive any errors, but heres some quote lyrics: "Deadpan Delores": too hot for the chorus, she makes the sweat pour out of your pores, your heart jumps as your temperature soars! Deadly exotic, suggestive, erotic! Delectable Deadpan Delores!"
"Hearts and Flowers: So look me in the Iris and tell me no lies, cling to me like Ivy, till the Snopdrops dry. If Daisys drive you crazy then you'll know why, I love them Hearts and Flowers!"
"my Big Exit": I been stripped of my defences, stripped of my composure, I've paid the consequences and I'm Dying of Exposure! Laying off my life wont heal the wounds, Im paying for the piper when I couldnt stand his tunes... Quality of life means special things, but will this squalid little death, spring angels wings."
Like I said its not quite the same show musically, as the original production from Australia, as such I think its missing its "Song that goes like this" as Spamalot said.
You now that "Tell me It's not true" moment from Blood Brothers or its "One day More" from Les Mis.
"My Big Exit" was the BIG showstopper number at the end, and its now a slightly softer ballad. Its still an emotional moment, but I think it had more impact as a belter.
The original opening Song "Falling" has been dropped which is a shame cause it was a great opening number and also a new epilogue song added, which I felt was a bit drawn out. BUt like I say if I hadn;t heard the original I probably wouldnt be saying any of this.
The script I thought was tight and exactly like the old gumshoe films the show pays homage too. I know the origianl script was felt to be too rambling and one of the main problems of the original version. So top marks to Richard et all for shapping it back into a tight book.
The characters all speak like they have stepped right out of that Private dective genre.
Its a great little show and I am so glad not to say lucky that I managed to see it, when they only announced two other dates I had a feeling it wouldnt make a full national tour.
The audience aorund me on the last night, were mostly over 50 plus and to be honest didnt seem that enamoured with the slow.
I agree with Violet that a full burlesque number would have been good to see, and intrestingly enough there is an instrumental track on the cast album called "The Strip" with plenty of "oohs and Ahhs" so I guess there was one originally.
I so wanted to see the show again, just so this time I could try and watch it without comparing it to the original, which I new I was going to do, try to or not. Im sorry I wont see it again now, but I know I was lucky enough to see it full stop.
I can't see it getting into a big West End theatre, but it would be perfect for the Menier Chocolate Factory or The Leicester Square Theatre (formally The Venue). Shame its not doing a bigger tour, it would be great in Liverpools Everyman Theatre!
All in all its a good show and it deserved to be seen in the UK and it needs to be put back into Richards Biog in his publicity along with his other self penned Musicals and plays along with his full stage and film apearances.
Kev (Review copied from the forums September, 2009)
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