Diva! Live From Hell @ Turbine Theatre*

Rating: 4/5
Booking until: 3rd September 2022
Ticket link: https://www.theturbinetheatre.com/whats-on/diva%3A-live-from-hell

Based on All About Eve, Diva Live From Hell follows Desmond Channing who gives his one man show about his time in high school after he dies following a turn as drama club president. The cabaret takes place in hell with Desmond telling the story of how he ended up there.

Luke Bayer stars as Desmond and subsequently all the other characters in Desmond’s life. And what a star turn this is for him, he’s absolutely sensational in this role. He absolutely nails each and every character but he is spectacular as Desmond. This is the sort of character that is peak drama queen. Rachel Berry walked so Desmond Channing could run. His incredible vocals shine in the pop infused score by Alexander Sage Owens. The entire piece is incredibly witty with a fantastic book by Nora Brigid Monahan (including one section that I’m sure was a set up…?) and was consistently funny. I also really liked Joe McNeice’s direction, really utilising the space at the Turbine. One cool element of the show is having Desmond’s grandmother be voiced by a West End icon with Janie Dee, Harriet Thorpe and Claire Moore on rotation (I had Claire the night I attended). I felt this added an extra layer to who Desmond was and I do wish this was explored a bit more.

Something else I did find with the show was that there wasn’t much of a middle ground for the character of Desmond to develop. He was consistently a prat to his classmates and there isn’t much of a chance for him to get some sort of redemption. But other than that, I really enjoyed this and think this would do really well on the Fringe circuit.

Until next time,

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