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The Wild Party – your invitation to a night of drunken debauchery



Review by Emma Whitelaw

STEPHEN Fry’s Bright Young Things aint got nothing on the characters from The Wild Party, now showing at Riverside Studios.

Set in the roaring 20’s, the devilishly good time guys 'n gals indulge their wicked ways in a fashionably chic orgy-like party.

Based on the famous narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March, the darkly sensual musical is about two lovers, vaudeville dancer Queenie, played by the dazzling Heather Panton, and psychotic clown Burrs, played by Robert Archibald.

Their relationship is on somewhat of a downturn and, in order to spice things up again, Queenie decides to throw a party. And not just any party, she embarks upon organising a party to end all parties!

Anyone who is anyone is invited; a famous boxer, a flamboyant lesbian, gay composers, hookers and lookers alike will join forces for what could only be a notorious night of debauchery.

Enter good time gal, Kate, played by the gorgeous Helen Hurd.

Eager to set a trap so that she can get her hands on her beloved Burrs, Kate brings along her latest beau, Black, played by Andrew Thwaite, knowing all too well that he is exactly the bait she needs to sway Queenie’s attentions and consequently bag her man.

The interesting story is told through music and believable dialogue.

However, at times, some of the lyrics were lost due to the big band jazz being slightly too big.

That said, the musical accompaniment was simply stunning. The various numbers ranged from sexed up jazzy numbers to sweetly sung ballads, all of which were highly entertaining.

The 18-strong cast are nothing short of amazing!

Each member is as talented as the next, with incredible voices, and they mastered the sexy numbers with ease.

The cast were equally talented as dancers, while the suggestive movements merely added to the deliciously decadent plot.

There are simply far too many to mention, but outstanding performances would have to be those of Rachel Rose Reid, as the cutesy minor, Nadine, and Amanda Liberman, as the sexual predator, Madeline.

Liberman had the audience in stitches with her sexual advances towards the innocent Nadine.

And Reid, too, had many a laugh with her innocently kooky ways. Both actresses portrayals are indeed commendable and they certainly stole the show.

A party of such wantonness could only end in tears, and although I won’t say who’s, I will just say the trouble arises when the hosts’ decide to pair off with other partners.

Queenie is the sort of woman who always gets what she wants and this night is no exception!

The Wild Party was a tremendous success; if you haven’t already been invited, I suggest you hop to it!

The Wild Party by Andrew Lippa. Directed by David Dorrian. Starring: Heather Panton, Robert Archibald, Andrew Thwaite, Helen Hurd, Amanda Liberman, Aaron Romano, Kira Lauren, Ian Lilley, Martin Cabble, Daniel Broadhurst, Rachel Rose Reid, Clare Lomas, Simon Basey, Joseph Wicks, Holly Boothby, Rebecca Kenyon, Rebecca Mitchell and Hugo Trebels. 27th July to 7th August at Riverside Studios, Crisp Road, Hammersmith, London, W6. Box Office 020 8237 1111.

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