Shout! The Mod Musical – The Viking Theatre – Review by David Minogue
Until Oct 14th
Shout! The Mod Musical originated as an off–Broadway show and was created by Phillip George and David Lowenstein. Through the use of stories, song and dance it presents the lives of five women living in England during each year of the 1960s and up to 1970. The only connection between the women is that they are all subscribers to the pop culture monthly magazine Shout! which features the movie and pop stars of the decade. In the show none of the women are named, instead they are all denoted by a colour. They are The Red Girl (Kelly Marie Ní Cheallaigh), The Blue Girl (Jody Ennis), The Yellow Girl (Amy Penston) The Green Girl (Emily J. Carroll) and The Orange Girl (Jacqueline Brunton). Collectively they all represent women of different ages, backgrounds and life experiences. The show highlights changes in the women’s lives and relationships throughout the 1960s. This is done on stage through a voice over with each woman corresponding to the agony aunt column of Shout! magazine. The advice given is generally completely impractical which creates some of the show’s humour. Many of the jokes in the show are reminiscent of the stand-up comedy of their day. Some are genuinely funny but others are just corny. While the show cleverly and at times poignantly draws references to the various social issues of the 1960s, it is also a continuous celebration of life through music.
Throughout the entire show all five of the women perform various songs that were made famous by singers such as Petula Clark, Lulu, Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw, Nancy Sinatra and Shirley Bassey. The set consists of the letters of the word Shout each of which is in the signature colours of its performers. The Viking Theatre is a small venue but director and choreographer Daniel “Cheech” Martin and musical director Sarah Lynch Barrett make full use of the stage in this vibrant production.
If you loved the songs of the 1960s you will thoroughly enjoy performances of songs such as Shout!, Downtown, and I Only Want To Be With You. The songs are either performed solo or in a group and many are choreographed and with backing harmonies. Highlights include performances of Son of a Preacher Man, To Sir With Love, Don’t Sleep in The Subway and These Boots are Made for Walkin’. Pop lyrics have the ability to tell something that someone can’t voice themselves. This is beautifully done in the melody performance of You’re My World and All I See Is You. The performance of the Mary Hopkin song Those Were The Days captures the entire sense of nostalgia that runs through the entire production.
The costumes, make up and wigs all add to the authenticity of recreating the look and style of the 1960s. The backing tracks of the songs and the various voice overs that the performers interact with are done flawlessly. All five performers have their own vocal style and they suit the songs that they perform individually or as a group. There is a great sense of joy and fun about the whole production that also has more reflective moments. This is a production that deserves to be a success for the production company and the Viking theatre.
Producer, Director & Choreographer – Daniel “Cheech” Maguire
Musical Director – Sarah Lynch Barrett
Lighting Design & Sound – Darren Kelleher
Costumes – Pauline McCaul
Make Up Design & Wigs – Ali Murphy
Cast – The Red Girl – Kelly Marie Ní Cheallaigh
The Blue Girl – Jody Ennis
The Yellow Girl – Amy Penston
The Green Girl – Emily J. Carroll
The Orange Girl – Jacqueline Brunton