Reputation @ The Other Palace*

Rating: ⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://lwtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/reputation/
Booking until: 14th November
Run time: 2hr 10 mins
Production Photographs by: Photo Donato

Reputation is a new musical currently having its world premiere at the other palace. The show is narrated by Freddy, a big shot Hollywood producer who goes up against a young inspiring author, Michelle Grant, in court after he steals her work for a film. Although the show has a good premise, it lacks in engagement and relationship development for it to be a gripping musical.

One thing that is outstanding in the production are the cast. Jeremy Secombe is fantastically sleazy as Freddy. Maddy Banks as Michelle is a fantastic talent with an impeccable voice, as demonstrated in act 2. But occasionally her character is just written so childishly that, for me, it wasn’t believable that she would take this sleaze ball to court because of how immature she often seemed at times. I also feel like the show didn’t really have a clear indication as to where it was going. Because at the top of act 2 there’s a tongue in cheek song about how women of the time were ‘conditioned’ to be a wife and that’s all. But then you have the character of Michelle who almost rejects that to go up against this much older, more powerful man but then has to rely on the help of men to get there. It just made the whole song feel redundant and just added to fill time.

REPUTATION 4 Maddy Banks as heroine Michelle seeks support from her friends Photo Donato

And, to be honest, the score is too filled with underdeveloped songs that feel added to fill time and ultimately don’t add anything to the story. And some of the score is actually quite lovely and Sondheim-esque so it’s very clear Alick Glass is a good writer. But, the choice needs to be made as to whether the creative team want to actually utilise the score to drive the story or remain attempting to look flashy.

This is a new musical with great potential, especially given it’s a story how a young woman stands up to an older man during a time where women had to be pushed into the background. I didn’t love it and to be honest, I started losing interest towards the end because of how predictable it felt. That said, I can’t fault the performances and it’s nice to see more new work being staged.

Until next time,

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