Fiver at Southwark Playhouse

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Fiver is the latest new British Musical to hit the Southwark Playhouse. It s a clever concept which follows the journey of a £5 note, from a buskers hat to a newsagents til and from a school boys pocket to a collection pot at a baby shower.

The concept itself worked brilliantly, it enabled the show to have multiple characters and numerous stories within it. Even when some individual moments didn’t appear to link to the concept initially they very cleverly came together towards the end of the show. One particularly comedic moment was the baby shower and when you have the expectant couple and several guests but only a cast of 5 it resulted in the cast playing numerous parts within a few minutes. Throughout Fiver the moments depicted on stage never felt contrived and they were hugely varied in emotion and intention. I found myself laughing one moment and trying to hold back the tears the next.

The variety of moments within the show enabled this talented cast to turn their hand to a multitude of characters. Luke Bayer’s stand out moment was playing bereaved father to Dan Buckley. Buckley, in addition to the school boy was the first recipient of the five pound note as a homeless man. Aoife Clesham key moments as ‘Miss,’ a teacher who was being stalked provided one of the highlights of the show for me however this contrasted nicely with her comedy number ‘Press Hash to Rerecord,’ where she recorded a voicemail to her ex-boyfriend numerous times. Hiba Elchikhe again showed off her versatility from expectant mother to disinterested shop keeper. Finally Alex James Elison completed the cast as the busker and narrator of the show. He is also the writer of Fiver and accompanied the show on his guitar.

The music was varied throughout the show, from fast paced rap to ballads and from indie to jazz. Even after the show I caught myself humming some of the tunes, in particular ‘Change Is Bringing Me Down,’ and ‘Gotta Keep My Head Down.’ The variety in the type of music and the shifting emotions throughout the show meant that my interest never wavered.

A clever concept, talented cast and catchy music means that Fiver deserves to have many five pound notes passed over the tills at the Southwark Playhouse and hopefully to have a life after this current run.

Fiver is playing at Southwark Playhouse until 20th July. Visit their website for more information.

If you like this review you might also like my review of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Six and Hamilton.

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