Gigglemug Theatre’s playful interpretation of the history of the shop Timpson has potential but does need work to smooth out the rough edges.
I would have loved to have been in the room when the idea of creating a musical based on (an alternative) history of Timpson – a shop that specialises in key cutting and shoe repairs – and how the idea came together. As it is, this is a mad and over the top piece of musical theatre that has a great energy about it and wide variety of eccentric characters.
Directed by Sam Cochrane, there is a distinct Romeo and Juliet theme thatt runs through the story as Lady Montashoe (who specialises in shoemaking and repairs) and Master Keypulet (maker of ‘small saws’ aka keys) are rivals in an upcoming invention competition – but what neither had expected was their children Keeleigh and Monty falling for each other. Throw in plenty of twists and turns along the way and you have a piece of new musical theatre that is worth developing further.
However, this being said it is a piece that still needs some work doing to it. While the energy levels are fabulous and the cast offer some great portrayals, it feels as though the story can become a little bit lost behind the comedy and distracting when the cast break character. With the twists and turns thrown into it, this is a completely unique take on a Romeo & Juliet styled story but could develop the relationships between the characters further to draw the audience in more.
On the other side of this, the production itself has plenty to offer – particularly when it comes to the physical comedy moments, whether it is food being thrown onstage or Lady Montashoe having to climb through the ‘People Flap’, while the authentically Victorian set helps to set the scene perfectly. The music and lyrics are also fitted into the story nicely, with hints of parodies from other musicals placed in them to delight musical theatre fans.
The cast are consistently enthusiastic and offer heaps of personality to their characters. In particular Michael Robert-Lowe as the pompous but ultimately well-intentioned Master Keypulet and Katy Baker as Lady Montashoe really stand out.
If you are in need of cheering up and like a quirky musical then you may want to give this a try. There is no denying that it could be developed further, but it certainly has the potential to reach a wider audience in the future.
By Emma Clarendon
Timpson: The Musical is available to watch through Youtube here.