Perhaps because I have recently made a couple of train journeys, I found myself in sympathy with the opening of More To Life Productions and Ribcaged Productions’ musical Stop the Train written by Rick Guards and Phil Rice, writes Pippa Munro Hebden.
The scene is set in a the carriage of a commuter train where all the characters are busy chatting noisily on the mobile phones. Their journey is rudely interrupted when Eric Molton (Keith Flood) reveals he is wearing a bomb and confiscates all their phones and makes them face their true selves.
Tom Stone (Jack Bradley) is a high powered and self centred businessman, who has recently ditched Chloe Lambert (Megan Pearl Spencer). Nicky Lee( Katy Oliver) is a London beautician intent on becoming famous one way or another. Bartholomew Kingston(John F. Doull) is a pompous barrister. Rhodri Griffiths (Robbie Southworth) is in computers and Ilya Amenkina (Amy Forrest) is an Eastern European cleaner and waitress. All of them have secrets they are hiding.
The first act has some terrific songs. The Lottery Song, Stop It and Showgirl will have you laughing out loud. The second act is less successful. There is just too much talking and Eric overstates and repeats his contempt for those who seek success and money. The last act is better with some unexpected twists and some good chorus singing, We all Fall Down, and the finale, Do It.
The choreography (Lindsay Pollard) is very clever and entertaining and the dancers, Laura Frost, Milly Wardle, Lucie Palfreyman and Alice Flegg bring lots of energy and humour to the songs.
My companions and I felt that the writers could condense the second and third acts into one. The love songs are pleasing, but also overlong. Some more of the brio and humour of the early songs would lift the second half.
Stop The Train is coming to The Grand, Clitheroe, in August and is worth seeing for the great first Act.