Sunday, 2 September 2007

Review: Bad Girls the Musical

I’m at a loss as to why Bad Girls the Musical, actually a flaccid excuse for a musical, came to be performed on the professional stage (it originated at the West Yorkshire Playhouse), let alone in the West End (and cluttering up a playhouse, the Garrick, too).

The woeful derivative music (sub pop, thin and electric sounding) is bad enough, but the pointless plot and central casting characters ensured that I had absolutely no interest in events onstage. The surprisingly large company of 24 do their best to enliven proceedings, but the painfully banal dialogue and risible lyrics kill any acting or singing talent dead (though not all the cast possess great singling talents).

You might reasonably expect a camp comic treat from Bad Girls (advertised with a glitter ball acting as a ball and chain), a cult trash TV hit on ITV a few years ago, but the humour is (mostly) sorely lacking. Set in a tough women’s prison, the plot is inconsequential, so I won’t bother you with it, suffice to say that dastardly ‘screws’, lesbian inmates, nasty drug dealers, a suicide and a prison riot are all seen before the interval (the people next to me fled before 30 minute were up, many more left in the interval, and on a Saturday night the theatre’s upper circle was closed).

The second act saw more of the same, combined with an unlikely union of prisoner and a sympathetic female Governor to get some bad screws (an evil sexual predator screw, imagine!). There is one parody number, ‘All Banged Up’, which was like a budget version of ‘Prisoners of Love’ in The Producers, the sequins and costumes just looked so cheap.

The set/design is reasonable enough, respectably spare, with back projections of grim prison landings and jail cell bars, and a few pieces of moving scenery making up the cells or the various prison environs. Due for a lengthy period of community service are director Maggie Norris, book writers Maureen Chadwick and Ann McManus and composer and lyricist Kath Gotts. This flat musical is stretch out to over tow and a half hours. It felt like a life sentence (is that enough prison ‘jokes’?).

6 comments:

Andrew (a West End Whinger) said...

It's been done before in the guise of Prisoner Cell Block H: The Musical, as I recall. Or maybe it wasn't a musical. To be honest I can't remember anything about it.

Still, we do think there is room yet for just one more: Within These Walls: The Musical and Googie Withers is still alive so if they hurry up...

Sean said...

Is Googie Wither really still alive? Reminds me of Dad's Army, Private Pike often mentioned her!

Saw one of the Bad Girls cast members (the evil male warden fellow) chowing down on some noodles about 45 minutes before the show on Saturday night.

moogwoo said...

what an absolute pile of trash. Bad girls the musical is a perfect treat of musical fun with a deep underlying tone of the darkside to prison life. this musical is a coming together of tv and the stage, this should not be knocked by stuffy theatre critics as theatre numbers are dwindling we should embrase a new intrest in the art.

viagra without prescription said...

I love to see this musical, I love this kind of art and on stage me crazy, the blog is very interesting and entertaining thanks for the info.

viagra online said...

I love the music and I like some kinds of music and the bad girl the musical was great I think that the blog tell us very interesting things.

viagra said...

Excellent music, I would like to have the chance of read more about it!!