Union Theatre, London
There’s a charming treatment of Ahrens & Flaherty’s Lucky Stiff, currently playing at the Union Theatre.
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
The musical is a short slight piece, set in a minimalist stage design, but with an imaginative and energetic choreography from Jamie Neale that efficiently uses the Union’s compact space.
The story? Don’t ask. Lucky Stiff is a ridiculous farce that follows Harry Witherspoon, a charmingly bumbling Englishman wheeling his uncle’s corpse around Monte Carlo, so as to comply with the terms of the dead man’s will and inherit a fortune. Throw in Annabel Glick, a delightfully honest and upright representative of the Brooklyn Dogs’ Home who stand to inherit the cash if Witherspoon doesn’t comply with the will to the letter, along with Rita La Porter the ultimate New Jersey broad whose eyes are fixed upon the cash and you start to get the picture.
Paul Callen puts on a well-constructed show. Tom Elliott Reade is Harry as Natasha Hoeberigs plays Annabel. They both capture the fresh faced naïveté demanded of them and are delightfully voiced.
Stealing the show however is Natalie Moore-Williams’ Rita, with both a vocal and stage presence that shamelessly (and delightfully) dominates each of her scenes magnificently. A nod too to the veteran Ian McCurrach, onstage almost throughout and literally corpsing with aplomb.
Lucky Stiff offers a delightful evening on London’s fringe, as a polished cast make fine work of Ahrens & Flaherty’s first collaboration.
Runs until 21st October
Photo credit: Scott Rylander