thu 01/10/2020

Smash!, Menier Chocolate Factory | reviews, news & interviews

Smash!, Menier Chocolate Factory

Smash!, Menier Chocolate Factory

Jack Rosenthal's let's-make-a-musical comedy is lifted by an offbeat cameo

Seventies dilemma: Natalie Walter and Tom ContiCatherine Ashmore

If you're going to put on a show about putting on a show, you gotta get a gimmick, as a wise man not unconnected with the late Jack Rosenthal's autobiographical comedy once wrote. Put it another way: if the show/film/TV series depicted is compromised, you need something or someone off-centre to stand out from the crowd. In Barton Fink, it was a hotel corridor and what the Coen Brothers did with it; in BBC Two's Episodes, it's Tamsin Greig's low-key, ironic bewilderment. Here it takes the shape of a five-minute comic turn from Carrie Quinlan as Mancunian room service.

If you're going to put on a show about putting on a show, you gotta get a gimmick, as a wise man not unconnected with the late Jack Rosenthal's autobiographical comedy once wrote. Put it another way: if the show/film/TV series depicted is compromised, you need something or someone off-centre to stand out from the crowd. In Barton Fink, it was a hotel corridor and what the Coen Brothers did with it; in BBC Two's Episodes, it's Tamsin Greig's low-key, ironic bewilderment. Here it takes the shape of a five-minute comic turn from Carrie Quinlan as Mancunian room service.

It proves hard work promoting the simplistic line that life, not art and certainly not musicals, is what it's all about

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