When thanks to a random shooting your life crashes around you and your horse has bolted from under you, how do you pick yourself up and get back in the proverbial saddle? A theme explored in the new British Musical “Get Your Sh*t Together” at the Landor Theatre.
Alex (Edward Richards) is a man whose life has recently taken a massive downturn. Dumped by his girlfriend – following a harrowing Christmas party – and suspended from his job, he has recently moved into a flat – well hovel really – over a pub and is pretty much in the doldrums, needing some help to get his depressing life in order. Luckily – or possibly not – Alex comes from one of those families that like to rally round in times of crisis. Well to be honest, it’s more his younger sister Annabelle (Katie Wells) who is keen to help with a brand of sugary sweet optimism and positivity that comes from the heart and makes you want to slap her with a wet kipper. Alex’s other sister Lana (Sylvie Briggs) is the complete opposite. A teacher who seems to dislike children and has an overly cool and detached attitude to life, even when talking with the lovely Sam (Guy Woolf) from behind the bar. The two of them are staying with Alex who has settled in his new home and, being a modern, thrusting, single chap, he has made the most of his bachelorhood by not unpacking and making great friends with the local pizza delivery lady, Marguerite (Eliot Salt) who seems to have a bit of a soft spot for the handsome young man. With the help of the pub’s resident band – Josephine (Mhairi Angus), Chester (Jonas Moore) and Leader Ernest (Tom Grant) – Sam and his family, will Alex ever get himself together?
I loved this show from the moment I saw the title. I seemed to have been told “Get Your Sh!t Together” for the majority of my life and still haven’t actually got around to it. In fact, I think by the end of the show, Alex was in a better position than many of us. Entering the auditorium I was amazed at how much stuff they could get into the set but still have room for the cast to walk around without looking awkward – lovely control by Director Jude Mack. A bar, stage area and dump of a flat full of storage boxes, discarded clothes and empty pizza boxes from a well known local company, who should be paying a premium for the free publicity. Artemis Howard and Eliot Salt have put together a charming story that, manages to cover a lot of ground in its short running time. The script is very witty in places and, Lana in particular, delivers some really cutting lines – though Sylvie Briggs can say so much with only a glance. The cast deliver the well written songs extremely professionally – my favourite had to be ‘Secret Santa’ (a song I totally identified with) – and each one was a really great way of moving the story on and showing more about the character(s) delivering it.
So, all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed “Get Your Sh*t Together” which kept me amused and entertained from the opening number with its deliberately misleading lyrics right through to the finale which all the cast delivered with a gusto and enthusiasm that had the audience cheering in the seats as the curtain came down. A really enchanting piece of theatre guaranteed to wash the autumnal blues away.
Review by Terry Eastham
Following a hugely successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s Underbelly Cowgate venue this summer, Deadpan Theatre’s Get Your Sh*t Together joins forces with Shrapnel Theatre and comes now to London’s home of musical theatre for two weeks only.
Alex is not in a good way. His girlfriend has left him for morning TV’s Breakfast Dave, he’s been suspended from work following a regrettable incident with a staple gun and has just moved in to his new home – a room behind a pub where local band ‘Ernest and the Keen Beans’ rehearse loudly and endlessly for their upcoming gig.
His sisters, dry and emotionless Lana and the ‘human embodiment of prozac’ Annabelle, are on hand to help their brother move in and move on, whether he likes it or not.
A sparkling new comedy musical featuring Secret Santa, some ill-advised papier mache and a band with show-stealing intentions, Get Your Sh*t Together is some of the very best in new British musical theatre.
Posted 16th September 2015