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Ushers: The Front of House Musical - The Other Palace (UK)

Directed by Max Reynolds. Music by Yiannis Koutsakos. Lyrics by James Oban & Yiannis Koutsakos


Incredibly witty, funny and lovingly crafted, Ushers will make you take pause the next time you're greeted at your next theatre foyer


Reviewed by Clare McIntosh

Studio, The Other Palace, London

Until 19th May, 2024


London’s theatreland is full of large, ornate, historical theatres showing behemoth productions like Les Misérables or Phantom of the Opera with world-renowned stars.

Not as far as the crow flies from Buckingham Palace is The Other Palace, a small theatre, that prides itself on showing new and emerging productions, with newly identified talents. It has a full theatre on the ground floor and, underneath, a studio with just 120 seats for small productions trying to get their first foothold in the West End. The studio is currently occupied by Ushers: The Front of House Musical.  An incredibly witty and up-to-date story of the six ushers at a new show (actually Love Island: The Musical), giving us stereotypical backstories in a hugely fun way. 


Leading the cast (and leading the house as Duty Manager) is Daniel Paige as Robin Pockets. His performance is comedic genius, evoking thoughts of Henry Lewis at Mischief Theatre. He has a bombastic, narcissistic character desperate to catch the eye of a producer to reveal his long hidden operatic performance. Paige made the most of every joke and nuance, which was a joy to watch.


Ushers: The Front of House Musical. Images by Craig Fuller.


Another stand-out performance came from Bethany Amber Perrins as Rosie. Styled as a mix between Sporty and Baby Spice, Perrins was an obsessed YouTuber wanting to land footage (and more) with a leading man. She pulled out humour from every line and movement and it was thrilling to explore her character throughout.


Strong performances also came from the remainder of the cast who showed off a range of singing, dancing and acting ability. The book by James Rottger was extremely funny and those Musical Theatre fans in the know, will be impressed by the topicality and recency of many of the jokes – some of them freshly referring to Sunday’s Oliviers’ awards, for example.


This is the most hilarious thing in the West End right now.

I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. This is the most hilarious thing in the West End right now.  Tickets are bargain prices and the very small venue means that in much of the show, you are literally right next to performers enveloping into their wonderfully musical world. Not to mention it also feels good to be supporting smaller venues, to be cheering emerging talent. 


Ushers will make you take pause and recognise, just for a moment, that the person who fleetingly checked your bag, pointed to your seat or sold you an ice cream, is probably at the theatre because, like you, they have a love of all things musical. And that, one day, they could be the leading talent you're watching.


If you just see one show in London, let's be honest, you’d probably choose something more mainstream and established. But Ushers deserves your attetntion due its authentic, amusing and fresh take on the faces we see so often in theatre foyers – this could well be your show! 


 

Cast

Bethany Amber-Perrins – Rosie

Luke Bayer – Ben

Christopher Foley – Stephen

Daniel Page – Robin

Danielle Rose – Lucy

Cleve September – Gary


Creatives

James Steel Productions and Maryann Wright Productions

Music: Yiannis Koutsakos

Lyrics: James Oban & Yiannis Koutsakos

Book & Additional Lyrics: James Rottger

Director: Max Reynolds

Musical Director: Dean Austin

Choreographer: Adam Haigh

Lighting design: Jack Weir

Set and Costumes: Reuben Speed

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