Something Something Lazarus
Well where to start with my review for Something Something Lazarus…. a bizarre show of two halves. The first half is founded in realism, the cast of the show are also a cast rehearsing for an unnamed show. The group are made up of Della, the musician of the group, Vee the performer with a fondness for gin who thinks she is the star, Daniel the owner of the club and Jay, Daniel’s lover and bar man. This already dysfunctional group are turned on their head when a package arrives for Daniel. The second part of the show however is an abstract cabaret inside Daniel’s head, with Jay playing MC where time is crucial and every second counts.
The moment that Something Something Lazarus took the surreal turn inside Daniel’s head was when the show got a whole lot more interesting. Prior to that the book by John Myatt was struggling to develop at an interesting pace, the script felt forced and the characters lacked depth. The more surreal, cabaret based part of the show however had more interesting themes and saw some shimmer of potential that could be developed.
One of the reasons for the potential of the surreal cabaret element is Daniel Cech-Lucas who played Jay who compared this part of the show. His interaction with the audience made me feel deliberately uncomfortable at the same time as drawing me in. He flirted his way around the audience with great ease. Also adding to the cabaret feel of this part of the show is Daisy Amphlett who played Della (as well as the shows genuine musical director). Not only does she have a strong belt voice but she plays numerous instruments including the piano/keyboard and accordion.
The music in Something Something Lazarus by Simon Arrowsmith lacks any distinctive melody or hook. I appreciate that this is not the type of show where the aim to have you humming to yourself all the way home however some structure to the songs would be nice. I would however commend some of the electronic music and even if not the strongest of songs it was an interesting concept to see this used in a musical.
With the abstract foundations of a show and a production company clearly setting out to do something different I would have liked to see a more imaginative design. I appreciate that within small space and a limited budget there are restrictions. Despite this the presence of illuminated numbers on the stage to represent the seconds during the latter part of the show demonstrated that simple ideas can be effective. Element such as this therefore needs to be explored further to give the show the punch it is looking for.
Something Something Lazarus states that it is immersed in the world of ‘transmedia storytelling’ with some of the characters having websites, social media pages and new songs online. Whilst this is a novel idea this show simply doesn’t have the punch or the character development needed to make the audience go away with a want to discover more about the characters.
This is a show with an interesting concept but unfortunately the concept is not executed brilliantly. I do commend Broken Cabaret for their efforts but unfortunately the show needs a lot more development in numerous areas before it is a show that breaks the boundaries it sets out to break.
To find out more abut Broken Cabaret click here.