REVIEW: CAKE @ THEATRE ROYAL PLYMOUTH
🎭 Cake: The Marie Antionette PLAYlist
📍 The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 2TR
🗓 Saturday 8th April 2023
MUFFIN COMPARES TO THE SHOW I DIDN'T KNOW I KNEADED!
Cake: The Marie Antoinette PLAYlist is a brand new musical, come gig, come ballet that retells a story that sparked a revolution!
From an original idea by Paul Taylor Mills, the book by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and music and lyrics by Tasha Taylor and Jack McManus brings this 18th century story bang up to date with a multi-genre pop score that delights from the very start.
The show is a co-production between Mills and Leicester Curve, Theatre Royal Plymouth, The Lowry, Norwich Theatre Royal, Southampton MAST and Theatr Clwyd.
The story is told by Jeanne, who conspires against Marie Antoinette in an attempt to defraud the crown jewellers of a necklace. The original odd couple, they end up striking up an unlikely friendship!
Production Image: Renée Lamb as Jeanne
Renée Lamb gives an incredible performance as Jeanne. Lamb was port of the original cast of SIX and delivers undeniable powerhouse vocals throughout as well as giving absolute believability to her character.
Fresh from giving a magical performance as Mary Poppins in the West End, Zizi Strallen shows just how versatile she is as she transforms into the domineering Marie Antoinette. She somehow manages to be warm and funny while being completely self-centred!
The small cast manage to give a huge performance and Travis Ross was wonderfully hilarious as the slimy Cardinal. I adored his character and I could see him playing the Emcee in Cabaret.
B Terry also had a fantastic voice which they got to show off as Nicole and was so believable as their character.
The show is still very much in its infancy but I can see the potential for this show to become the next must-see that everyone will be talking about. It does need a bit of refinement and maybe a few tweaks (which is why I couldn't give it 5 stars) but essentially I think this show is a hit.
There is absolutely no set, just a few props but in a small space like The Drum, I didn't feel it needed one. The lighting design worked incredibly well throughout and Drew McOnie's direction and choreography was sublime.
Is the story historically correct? Probably not! Is it entertaining and enjoyable? Absolutely!
Production Image: The entire Cake company
The show only has two more venues to play, Leicester Curve and Norwich Theatre Royal and I highly recommend seeing it. It would be great to see the show at London's Turbine Theatre and maybe even in the West End at a smaller theatre such as the Arts Theatre or Ambassador's Theatre.
One thing's for sure, I definitely see a future for this production. I think it really works well as a one act show and even if a few more songs were to be added, I think it should stay in this format. I would also perhaps like to see a little more character development, but is this me wanted my cake and eating it too?
I think to secure a future then the addition of a set and maybe a bigger ensemble would really elevate the show, but looking at the show in its current state, I cannot deny how much I enjoyed it.
The raw energy that emits from the stage from this awesome cast, which also includes Ope Sowande and Megan Bryony Gibbs as the Ensemble, is undeniable and to witness such talent on a small stage was a real privilege.
The fusion of different music and dance styles worked extremely well and I am excited to see this production grow into the cult hit I'm sure it'll become.
All views are my own and I pride myself on being open, honest and free from influence.
Production Image: Zizi Strallen rocks the stage as Marie Antoinette
Zizi Strallen as Marie Antoinette; Renée Lamb as Jeanne; B Terry as Nicole; Travis Ross as Cardinal; Ope Sowande as Ensemble; Megan Bryony Gibbs as Ensemble; Lukas Hunt as Swing; Amie Hibbert as Swing
RUN TIME (approx):
1 hour 10 minutes, with no interval
Occasional bad language
Production Image: Zizi Strallen as Marie Antoinette