From the moment you enter the Roxy Art House and see the string quartet awaiting you beneath the towering stone archways of this former church, you are filled with the sensation that you are in for something special. This is the most incredible space for a musical performance as sound is amplified and enriched as it reverberates off the walls here.
Seriously is a musical with a difference, it has boldly discarded the safety net of scripted dialogue and has chosen to tell the tale of the evolution of three interwoven relationships purely through song. As the title suggests, these songs have been forged from the lyrics of twenty five well known Pet Shop Boys tracks.
This musical is far more than a Pet Shop Boys cover band concert though. The meaning and emotion behind the lyrics are often completely transformed by these five talented singers and the refined music that supports them. The universality of emotions such as betrayal, anger and love is explored in the diverse range of interconnected relationships lived out by the characters.
The cast sing with an incredible intensity that threatens to overwhelm the audience on a number of occasions. This intensity is completely appropriate in conveying the feelings of anger, betrayal and loss felt by the characters at various stages of the plot but it is overused and ultimately reduces the impact at these key moments.
Frequent microphone problems also let the cast down and repeatedly interrupt the flow of the performance. Considering the power of the casts’ voices it would probably be wiser to abandon the microphones altogether as this would solve both of these issues.
These technical problems fortunately did not affect the string quartet who delivered a stunning performance, managing to keep up with the intensity of the singing whilst not overwhelming the audience and remaining true to the emotional theme of each scene. All in all this is a good performance with a lot of potential and is still worth seeing. With some fine tuning it could be spectacular.