★★★★ | Miss Nightingale: The Burlesque Musical
It’s 1942 and Britain is in the grip of war. Northern nurse Maggie Brown has moved to London to try her hand at a singing career but along with her Jewish refugee song-writer, George, she faces rejection at every turn.
Things change when the pair meet aristocratic nightclub owner Sir Frank Worthington-Blythe and the saucy burlesque singer, Miss Nightingale, is unleashed on a rapturous London crowd. Complications ensue when Maggie’s relationship proves to be less than perfect and Sir Frank falls in love with George.
Near the start of the show George states that he wants to bring a touch of pre-war Berlin to war time London and the show certainly achieved that aim with witty numbers, corking dance routines and enough sauce and innuendo to outdo even the cast of a Carry On film. The show is very funny and incredibly infectious with a fantastic set of songs which run the gamut from bawdy through to mournful. Composer, Matthew Bugg has written some corking numbers which had the audience cheering and applauding like crazy and the standing ovation from the crowd at the Leicester Square Theatre proved that the show was a massive hit.
Award winning burlesque star Amber Topaz is a tiny but powerful ball of cheekiness with a talent to amuse, titillate and dazzle and the two male leads are also well cast and show incredible talent. As well as acting, they sing beautifully and play instruments in the band. How’s that for multi tasking?
The main theme of the musical is the difficulties faced by gay men in Britain in the 1940s, with fears of damaged reputations, prosecution and ruined lives. The love story between Frank and George is actually quite charming and beautifully rendered.
For a cracking night out I’d recommend this wholeheartedly.
The show is on 7th July at Leicester Square Theatre followed by
• 9th to 13th July: Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
• 15th to 17th July: Victoria Theatre, Halifax
• 18th to 19th July: Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
• 22nd to 27th July: Theatre Royal, Windsor
Book tickets and read more here: http://missnightingale.co.uk
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He’s usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.