After a very successful run at the Union Theatre Bare has transferred to Greenwich Theatre for a limited run of just under three weeks. After missing out on this show the first time round I was happy to get a another chance to catch this production.
If I was to describe Bare in one word it would be “drama”. I don’t remember the last time I watched a show that was so full of conflicts, heartbreak, anger and fear. And while sometimes things like that can make a show too heavy it really works for Bare. This show makes you laugh and cry, it touches your heart and soul and it will leave you completely drained. The story itself isn’t new – Peter loves Jason and Jason loves Peter but they are at a Catholic boarding school which makes their relationship not only difficult but basically impossible. And on top of that there’s Ivy who falls for Jason. Quite early on you get a feeling that things might not turn out well.
Michael Vinsen shines as Peter. His performance is heartbreaking and truthful. For me he is the stand out in this show and I can’t wait to see him on stage again. I am sure we will get to see a lot more of him on the London stage in the future. Ross William Wild plays Jason who is torn between his love for Peter and his fear of losing his face in front of his friends and family. He gives a great performance even though his vocals seem a bit weak from time to time. That might be down to general sound issues though as the singing seems to be drowned out a bit by the music now and then. Jodie Steele’s Ivy is the stereotyped popular, pretty girl at the school who ends up falling in love with Jason. She is just the right mix of sassy and vulnerable – and I know it’s shallow but I just have to give a special mention to those abs!
Claudia Kariuki steals parts of the show with her portrayal of Sister Chantelle. She provides some well needed funny moments in a show that is so full of drama, anger, fear and heartbreak.
I really like the score – there’s some proper rock/pop songs as well as a few wonderful ballads. While I enjoy dance scenes I think the choreography is actually a bit much at times and takes away from the intensity of the whole piece. But then that is just my personal preference. The audience seemed to love every dance step and really went along with what was happening on stage.
This is no huge West End production. There’s little set and it’s not as slick as some of the big shows in town. But Bare has one thing that is more important than that: Soul. Combine this with a stellar cast that gives their all night after night and you get a pure gem of a musical.
Sadly this production is only running until the end of the week. If you do get the chance please try and get down to Greenwich to see the show. You won’t regret it.
Bare is playing at Greenwich Theatre until 27th October. To book tickets go to http://www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk/.