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Spinach - King's Head Theatre (Review)


Review by Shanna Schreuder

SPINACH is not a musical as such but rather a play in which every word is sung instead of spoken. It’s an interesting concept and one which works well for this new piece, which is written and directed by Janine Waters with music by Simon Waters.

The plot is a bit different too, as the play begins with the two main characters, Kate and Tom, waking up to discover that they’re tied together; neither of them able to see the other or remember how they got there.

Initially, the accusation fly but as they slowly begin to piece together the previous 24 hours their feelings for each other change.

To start the ball rolling Tom, who works in a pharmaceutical plant in Manchester, brings yesterday to life by recounting his day at work with his colleagues, Maureen and Darren, while Kate, a journalist based in London, tries to justify why she lets homeless people sleep in her shed and understand how the halloumi kebab fits in.

As every word is sung it’s hard to pick out a standout song but the most memorable tunes are sung by the supporting cast, particularly Claire Greenway as Maureen and Craig Whittaker as Darren. When Claire belts out ‘the boy is yummy cause he’s clean’ and Craig advises us to ‘eat your spinach’ it’s clear that the best lyrics have been saved for them.

Not that this takes the spotlight off Cassandra Compton’s Kate and Ben Gerrard’s Tom, as both give Spinach the star quality it needs.

Compton’s petit frame, large eyes and strong voice make for a winning combination, while Ben’s good looks and smooth singing is a pleasurable experience.

Although at times the messages in Spinach are a bit too obvious, often making it feel more like a public health warning than a theatre experience, it has enough charm to win you over.

Tickets: £15 – 22.50. Available from the box office on 020 7478 0160 or online via the King’s Head website.

Dates and times: From June 12 – July 7. Tuesday to Saturday at 7.15pm, Sunday matinee at 3pm.

Related: Read our preview l Photo gallery