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The Stripper

Published 12 July 2016

What’s it all about?

Did she jump, was she pushed, or did she fall? So asks the company in the opening number of this musical whodunit, based on Carter Brown’s 1961 pulp fiction story, and the question that leads womanising Lieutenant Al Wheeler on a mission to uncover some of his city’s darkest secrets, and its hottest broads.   

Who’s in it?

Despite being the most ambitious production to be staged in the St James Studio to date, there are just five cast members bringing 12 colourful characters to life between them with quick accent changes and even quicker wig changes. Their number is equalled by the live jazz band who are on stage throughout, providing the scintillating score.

It would be unfair to single out any one cast member – each is incredibly hardworking and versatile, performing flawlessly together on a stage not much bigger than some West End dressing rooms.

What should I look out for?

If the helpless laughs of the opening night crowd were anything to go by it would have to be Michael Steedon’s star comic turn as awkward, repressed Jacob Arkwright in Cry On. A song about the desire to be desired – a theme that runs throughout The Stripper – it is dripping with Richard O’Brien’s trademark wit and lyrical genius.  

The theatre space itself is transformed into the sleazy Club Extravaganza, so expect to feel fully immersed. The audience is the sixth cast member, and the fourth wall is regularly broken as the cast flirt with, sing to and yes, even caress, the crowd. You have been warned.

In a nutshell?

Gleefully deviant and gloriously entertaining, The Stripper has a sassy score, quick wit and plenty of heart.

What’s being said on Twitter?

 

Will I like it?

It’s Rocky Horror meets Chicago via The 39 Steps and Twin Peaks. Sounds pretty niche but it will appeal to anyone with a taste for the outrageous, the fabulous and the downright naughty. And for fans of Rocky Horror, it’s a no-brainer. Yes, you will.

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