High Fidelity at The Turbine Theatre
High Fidelity the musical has hit the UK for the first time. The show is based on the novel by Nick Horby and a recent film starring Jack Black. The film shifted the action to the USA and the original musical followed suit. The creatives behind this show however took o the task of rewriting it to make it relevant to a British location and a British audience and as Paul Taylor-Mills puts it ‘softening the edges.’
The show follow Rob’s complicated relationship with women. It opens as Rob’s current girlfriend Laura is leaving him. Throughout the show we find out why, as well as meet 5 of Rob’s ex-girlfriends and we watch Rob battle to try to win Laura back. The book is by David Lindsay-Abaire with it adapted for a modern British audience by Vikki Stone. The adaptation works well with references to Woolworths and Natalie Imbruglia and has the audience chuckling away to these references.
The styles of music is incredibly varied within High Fidelity. Conflict Resolution alone sees several musical styles within 1 number and throughout the show we hear rock, pop, country, hip hop and more. The ones that stick in the mind however are the funny numbers such as ‘Ian’s Here’ and ‘I Slept With Someone Who Slept With Lyle Lovett/I Slept With Someone Who Handled Kurt Cobain’s Intervention.’ There were few other numbers that stick in your mind and I would struggle to hum any of the melodies now.
Rob is played by Oliver Ormson. It is a hard role to tackle as Rob does little elicit any sympathy from the audience, his attitude is problematic towards his own role in the breakup as is his opinion of his ex-girlfriends. Luckily Ormson oozes charisma and manages to elicit some warmth from the audience towards him.
Playing Laura was Shanay Holmes and unlike the character of Rob you easily warmed to her. She transformed from a girl next door into a sexy rock goddess during ‘Number 5 with a Bullet’ really showing her versatility. The rest of the cast are brilliantly talented and watchable, Rob’s 5 ex-girlfriends all ooze character and his friends from the record shop are brilliantly quirky. Robert Tripolino as Ian, Laura’s new man is also incredibly funny and has some of the best comedy lines of the show.
The staging of the show was very clever. Director and choreographer Tom Jackson-Greaves makes brilliant use of the limited stage space. Parts of the set revolve in order to provide additional levels and keeps the pace of the show swift. Whilst there is not a huge amount of dance throughout the show the dance that is there, is executed sharply and cleverly by the whole cast.
It is great to see a fresh musical that has been developed with the audience in mind. High Fidelity can boast not only this but a fresh talented cast and quirky direction and choreography.
High Fidelity is playing at The Turbine Theatre until 7th December 2019. For more information and to book tickets visit their website.