Review: Timpson: The Musical
Image: King's Head Theatre
Madeleine Gray as Monty Montashoe
Sabrina Messer as Keeleigh Keypulet
James Stirling as Master Keypulet
Rachael Chomer as Lady Montashoe
Alex Prescot as Man 1
Sam Cochrane as Man 2
Chris Poon - piano
Dan Hester - drums
Sophie Walker - bass
Two warring houses. One ancient grudge. A whole lot of shoes.
Can the warring houses of Montashoe and Keypulet be united by a pair of star-crossed lovers?
Journey to Victorian London where Monty Montashoe and Keeleigh Keypulet, two young inventors bursting with ambition, strive to break free from the confines of their parents and follow their dreams all the way to the 50th annual 'Invention Convention'!
WINNERS The Stage Edinburgh Award 2018.
Best shows to see at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018 The Guardian.
Highly Recommended Show 'Gigglemug's first musical is an absolute hoot from start to finish' Fringe Review.
Sponsored by Timpson Ltd. themselves, Gigglemug Theatre's debut musical explaining the origins of the high street cobbler's "Timpson" is guaranteed hilarity for any "quality service person".
You know those moments after you wake up when you find yourself trying to decipher one of the those bizarre dreams that seems unduly odd - even for dreams?
You recognised the characters alright and even the situation, but you're still not sure exactly what was going on.
Well, at one point during this, obviously comedic, musical I experienced that feeling - that somehow, the venture had taken a turn along it's short progress and headed into a kind of fog (probably somewhere near London Bridge) leaving me floundering to keep up and understand just what had happened and why.
I'd got the fundamental idea alright.
It's based on two warring families and their offspring who fall in love.
If the penny hasn't already dropped, that's the basic plot of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Except that in this version of events, the families are at loggerheads over ... inventions.
That sort of fits with the times since we're in Victorian England where even stray dogs are trying to get in on the act of inventing something that will ensure a rise to capitalistic riches and power.
Except some inventions ... like tiny saws ... don't seem to have the same kind of potential for acquiring massive wealth.
Shakespeare's Montagues become Montashoes here and the Capulets morph into Keypulets.
Those names are actually important and quite clever, given the other element that the story is based on is (and you may have guessed this from the title) ... Timpson, who specialise in shoe repairs and key-cutting (and much else as well these days).
Hence Montashoes and Keypulets (I can hear the groan).
That's ok though, because the cast and creators of Timpson: The Musical wouldn't mind some kindly groaning one bit.
In fact they expect it ... and a little audience participation to boot (another groan?).
Actually, there aren't as many puns in this rather bizarre, yet playfully good-natured musical as one might expect.
"A hole in my soul" got my attention, but I didn't connect with too many more, though I may have missed a few during the sometimes frantic traffic on stage.
The set-up though provides for many more and a bit of judicial editing of the script could lift the comedy significantly.
An energetic cast keep things swinging along pretty well and co-directors Sam Cochrane and Chris Baker (who also wrote the show) exert sufficient control to keep the enterprise just about laced together rather than boiling over completely.
But it is a close call, because we find characters fetching-up with shoe-like face masks, a talking portrait and a wildly enthusiastic dog among other situations and characters.
Musically speaking, the songs aren't likely to win many awards, but they're good enough to provide suitable moments of musical relief, and are generally well-sung.
When we get towards the end, the fog I was talking about earlier did actually lift and all becomes plain - well, mostly anyway.
That doesn't matter, though, because this madcap show isn't actually meant to be in any way a serious endeavour and proves affable enough to be entertaining, sometimes in a raucous kind of way, but nonetheless delivering sufficient mirth during its course.
Timpson: The Musical is the first production from Gigglemug Theatre and shows ample promise - so it should be worth keeping an eye out for future work from the company.
And finally, the enterprise referenced in this show - Timpson - needs a special commendation for its own good-natured agreement to being at the heart of this piece - and for its laudable social responsibility in conducting its business.
Links and related content
ActDrop listing for King's Head Theatre
Our show listing for Timpson: The Musical
Read our reviews' policy