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Miss Atomic Bomb

Published 15 March 2016

What’s it all about?

Atomic bombs, beauty pageants, a farm girl in debt, a soldier with a habit of running away and a fashion designer with a background more hick-ster than hipster.

Adam Long, Gabriel Vick and Alex Jackson-Long’s brand new musical comedy set in a 1950s Las Vegas obsessed with the nearby A-bomb test site is a camp, satirical, silly and sometimes downright crazy evening packed with musical in-jokes and more radioactive puns than you can shake a – green glowing – stick at.

As the musical’s strapline says, every mushroom cloud has a silver lining and, with the help of Bill Deamer’s razzmatazz choreography, a talented company attempt to turn this silver lining into a radioactive rainbow.

Who’s in it?

The magnetic Florence Andrews confidently leads as the show’s heroine Candy Johnson, an all-country girl who feels more at home with sheep than show girls. She’s tasked with the show’s stand-out country and western-inspired numbers and, performing with the wit and zeal of Dolly Parton, Andrews’ character has more than enough woes to fill a greatest hits album. Discovering her late grandma was in fact less angelic octogenarian, more promiscuous, slot machine addict, she finds herself with a sour faced banker with low self-esteem – played by Daniel Boys, who proves he can rock a side parting like no one else – on her case.

Luckily Candy has a sidekick in the form of Catherine Tate’s droll stylist-wannabee Myrna Ranapapadophilou and romance is in the air after a chance meeting with deserted solider Joey Lubowitz, played by Aladdin-in-waiting Dean John-Wilson whose soulful voice is a breath of fresh air.

There’s also the hilarious Simon Lipkin, who gives a class performance as Joey’s oddball brother and the brains behind the comically disastrous Miss Atomic Bomb pageant, and, despite his protests in the rehearsal diary he penned for us, proves himself a dab hand – or should that be foot? – in the art of tap dancing.

What should I look out for?

Dead sheep, a particularly hilarious homage to Les Mis and Tate’s dry assessment on shaving pigs.

Keep a close eye on Olivia Fines who frequently steal scenes as the scrappy, sassy Vegas Miss Atomic Bomb-wannabe. We officially crown her ‘one to watch’…

Who was in the press night crowd?

A new musical comedy predictably got the bigwigs interested; Elaine Paige and Andrew Lloyd Webber were among the crowd sipping the theatre’s specially created radioactive green cocktails.

In a nutshell?

Brilliantly bonkers and infectiously catchy, Miss Atomic Bomb blasts off at the St James Theatre thanks to its sensational cast.

What’s being said on Twitter?

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Will I like it?

The best way to describe Miss Atomic Bomb is that it’s just a bit brilliantly bonkers. If you’re looking for a night of warm-hearted laughter, you’re not averse to a dead sheep or two and black comedy is your thing, then this is the show for you. Its catchy numbers, which range from peppy, pun-filled duets to power ballads, topped with a skilled cast and lively choreography, ensure it doesn’t bomb.

Miss Atomic Bomb is playing until 9 April. You can book tickets through the St James Theatre website.

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