I am always intrigued and excited by a new theatre opening, so you can imagine my excitement walking into the new Marble Arch Theatre, a pop up that felt as if I was walking into a really big tent with jazz music playing in the bar prior to the performance. Five Guys Named Moe is a musical written and directed by Clarke Peters based on the music of Louis Jordan. The basis for the show is around a man named Nomax who is suffering some heartbreak when five guys named Moe appear out of his radio to guide him to win back his girlfriend. It is the most ordinary plot but contains the most extraordinary theatrics which has made Five Guys Named Moe one of the best shows I’ve seen this year.
The performances by this incredible ensemble are absolutely outstanding, there isn’t a weak link between the cast. And the show plays to their different strengths. Edward Baruma as Nomax has an amazing voice which the audience are instantly treated to in the opener Early In The Morning. Each of the Moes have their own stand out moments. Dex Lee as Know Moe and Emile Ruddock as Eat Moe often have stand out moments showcasing Andrew Wright’s out of this world choreography, including an incredible tap break. Horace Oliver as Big Moe carries a sense of leadership amongst the Moes and towards Nomax, particularly during What’s The Use of Getting Sober? Idriss Kargbo adds comic relief to the piece as Little Moe and Ian Carlyle as Four Eyed Moe really engages with the audience during the moments when the fourth wall is broken. And that happens frequently during the show.
Due to the uniqueness of the space, the set design, whether intentional or not, fully incorporates the audience. Takis’ set is designed with tables in the inner part of the stage with a revolve that circles around the audience, as well as the audience on the outer part of the stage. However, once the conga line begins at the interval, it’s likely to be the inner stalls that join first. Yes, there’s a conga line which leads into the bar at the interval. And during the interval, the audience are treated to more live music as they sip on cocktails. Or a Diet Coke in my case.
Five Guys Named Moe isn’t just an incredible theatre piece, it is an incredible theatrical experience. Without a doubt, it makes a night out to the theatre that more exciting to immersive yourself in. Head down to The Marble Arch Theatre before February to see it. I hope the theatre is here to stay.
Five Guys Named Moe is currently running at the Marble Arch Theatre until 17th February. For tickets and more information please visit https://www.fiveguysmusical.com
Until next time,