I was super thrilled to see, a couple months back, that Jest End would be returning to the Waterloo East Theatre. Written by Garry Lake, Jest End is a hilarious piss take on shows and gossip within the West End. I had seen the show for the first time last year with a different group of actors and found it really hilarious. And I’m so glad I found it just as strong the second time round! Even if one of the actors started dry humping a member of the audience that was sat THREE seats away from me.
The show only has four actors and they all perform fantastically, as an ensemble as well as having their own stand out moments. All the songs in the show are parodies of famous musical theatre songs, including shows I absolutely rant and rave about. Jemma Alexander’s incredible vocals are highlighted in a parody of Still Hurting from The Last Five Years called “Still Waiting”; a parody about how she is still waiting for a big break. Daniel Buckley leads on a brilliant School of Rock parody titled “Unhappy Leading Man.” When he stepped on stage in Dewey’s famous sweater vest I was already buzzing, as Daniel was my first choice for Dewey when School of Rock was announced!
I also adored Bronté Barbé, in particular her performance as Billy Elliott in a song titled “Girls All Over Me.” She also performed her beautiful upper range with a performance as Ariel from the Little Mermaid (and the looks to match!) Adam Bailey is the fourth in this quartet and had Jen & I absolutely howling in our seats. My favourite performance from him was when he was dressed as a flower shading the Calendar Girls musical!
The entire company also performed a medley of some massive shows including Les Miserables, In The Heights and an unknown musical called Hamilton. Now the Les Miserables & In The Heights parodies I found hilarious. But I really did not find the Hamilton medley funny at all and that was down to the writing. I mean, including a line about the company complaining that they’re “not black enough to be in Hamilton” is just downright dismissive and disrespectful, in my opinion. Trust me, I can take a joke but not at the expense of what Hamilton has done and created for the musical theatre community.
Jest End is something truly original with a fantastic group of actors. And it is currently running until 18th December at the Waterloo East Theatre. You can find more info at http://www.waterlooeast.co.uk/jest%20end.html
Until next time,