Interval Production and Iris Theatre presented a rehearsed reading of Muted at The Actors Church. Performed by a stellar cast, Muted was certainly in capable hands with the highly talented ensemble.
Muted centres on the story Michael, who after experiencing great tragedy has not spoken a word. We are introduced to the people from his past and present as we see how their lives have intertwined around the dramatic circumstances.
The rock influenced score, by Tim Prottey-Jones soars, and the 5 piece band led by Simon Lambert, sounded full and impressive, as the pulsating heartbeat behind the characters feelings of guilt and angst. Tori Allen-Martin’s lyrics work well to reveal each characters, often unheard, feelings.
Sarah Henley’s book has some wonderful moments, and balances some comedic moments against the more raw, emotion fuelled scenes.
Steven Webb provided light relief in his portrayal of Will, the David Brent-esque Uncle, and had a lot of great moments that were thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
Tori Allen-Martin showed great connection to the character Lauren, caught in the middle of difficult circumstances, and between her past and present relationships. Her vocals were heartfelt and raw.
Ashleigh Gray gave a flawless vocal performance – her voice really is thrilling – and was a great asset to this cast. Her strong portrayal of mother Amanda provided a great contrast to the actions of the younger characters.
Greg Oliver, taking on the role of wannabe rockstar Jake, added another dimension to this talented cast with his unique voice. A real live wire, that had the audience hanging onto his every word during the tense scenes in Act 2.
Andy Coxon, playing teenage Michael, and Liam Doyle, playing present day Michael, worked well together to show the different sides to this character who was at the centre of this story. Doyle was heartbreaking as the ‘muted’ Michael – there were a few tears seen in the audience! Coxon handled the tough vocals and flooded the room with the unspoken emotions.
Director Jamie Jackson gave a great structure to this piece, that was enhanced by the wonderful cast. It was great to see a full audience supporting this new British musical. I’m certain Muted has a lot more to give, so let’s hope it finds the support it needs to further develop and bring back a full scale production.
Review by Kirsty Cherrett
Interval Productions have lined up Ashleigh Gray, Steven Webb, Andy Coxon, Liam Doyle and Tori Allen-Martin to record this new British rock show and launch the album with a concert on the 4th February 2016.
Cast: Ashleigh Gray has just finished starring as Elpheba in the UK tour of Wicked. Steven Webb, having spent a year with the Lyric Hammersmith’s Secret Theatre can currently be seen at the National Theatre in I Want My Hat Back. Liam Doyle has been playing Sam in the world tour of Ghost and Any Coxon is fresh out of Beautiful in the West End. Tori Allen-Martin, who also wrote a lot of the lyrics for Muted, has just been featured on Idris Elba’s mi Mandela album with Maverick Sabre.
The music is written by the Tim Prottey-Jones described by Julie Robinson as “One of the best new musical theatre writers around today“. The concert version of the show will be directed by up-and-coming director Jamie Jackson, who recently directed the concert version of musical ‘The Natives’ for the Old Vic New Voices and was nominated for an Off West End award for Best Director for his show ‘WINK’ at Theatre 503.
The Launch was a co-production with Iris Theatre and held at the Actors’ Church on the 4th February 2016, with performances at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.
Actor’s Church, Bedford St, London WC2E 9ED