Friday, 26 July 2013

WAG! The Musical

Charing Cross Theatre, London


Written by Belvedere Pashun
Music and lyrics by Grant Martin, Thomas Giron-Towers and Tony Bayliss
Directed by Alison Pollard

Lizzie Cundy and Alyssa Kyria

WAG is the acronym for a footballer's wife or girlfriend. It describes the caricature of a money grabbing woman, who when young is a siren luring a rich athlete whose brain is well hung between his legs and who when older, will have made sure she has married her trophy sportsman, turning a blind eye to his infidelities as she enjoys the trappings of wealth and glamour that his earnings provide.

If the concept of the WAG is a shallow cliche, then WAG! The Musical is an even more vacuous pastiche. The story is flat, the characters are two dimensional (at best) and Belvedere Pashun its writer, whose biography curiously suggests likes nothing more than camping in the mountains of his native Tibet, needs to return to his homeland damn quick because based on this show his writing skills are close to non-existent.

Even more damningly, Pashun has played solely to the cliché, showing no regard at all to the emotional back lives of the WAGS or their real loves, anxieties and issues.This is a story as flimsy as the atrociously poor scenery that would barely grace a local am-dram production. (Producers, hang your heads in shame).

Yet, amidst this smorgasbord of medioce creativity and forgettable tunes there is actually some damn good acting, with a predominantly young cast giving their classy all to the show. Daisy Wood-Davis and Amy Scott lead the line as two young department store perfume saleswomen with complicated love lives. Whilst their characters could not be more stereotypical, they enliven their performances with commitment and passion and when towards the end of the show, Wood-Davis laments her character's broken heart in How Could I Not Leave A Scar, her belt is rather spectacular. As expected, the talented Katie Kerr turns in another class act with her obesely chav character, Blow-Jo (subtle, huh?)

The predators at the top of this food chain of feminity are the WAGS, casually spearing these young pretenders with their Louboutins. Lizzie Cundy, a former WAG in real life is Zoe, all legs, knickers and a walking testament to the cosmetic surgeons who have laboured over her for years. Mercifully spared too much singing, Cundy delivers a spicy feisty turn as a TV red-carpet commentator. Whilst it is Cundy’s famous name that may draw punters to the show, it is Alyssa Kyria's Ariadne, a Greek WAG who unashamedly steals it. Kyria’s character is no stranger to the UK's stand-up circuit, and with echoes of Nancy Dell’Olio hers is the comic performance of the night.

Judging by the timely cheers and baddie-directed boos coming from the audience, there is a market for this show, probably amongst slightly tipsy women on a girls night out, whose husbands, boyfriends and feminist pals have been kept well away. Whilst WAG! The Musical’s residency in the West End may be thankfully short, the producers should be seriously looking to tie their cast into a tour.

Runs to August 24 2013

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