The Daily Fail is a new and original musical by The Untold Theatre Company. It is highly satirical using the Leveson enquiry and hacking scandal as its stimulus to create this comedic and relevant story.
The story follows two starry eyed, fame and celebrity culture obsessed young girls, London Clinton (Kate Hume) and Dim Trashtrashian (Charlotte Mitchell) on their personal, no limits journey to fame and fortune and everything that comes with the label of ‘celebrity’. The show opens with a slick and strong opening number involving most of the cast, I was immediately impressed at how well the entire cast worked together in such a small space to create an attention grabbing opening sequence.
The first scene introduces the audience to London and Dim, this talented pair of young performers establish their characters straight away and set the tone for the entire show. The script is very clever and is delivered perfectly with a balance of comedy and sincerity by Hume and Mitchell. Sat in a coffee shop discussing celebrities such as Sienna Miller, Kiera Knightley and Cheryl Cole their conversation encapsulates everything their characters view as important, media worthy and aspirational. Their first song ‘We Could Be Famous’ is totally indicative of today’s fame hungry youth and clearly draws its inspiration from programmes such as The X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. With key lines such as “I’ll do anything to someday be famous” the audience is left in no doubt as to what these young girls are aiming for in life, a quick and easy route to fame and fortune even at their own admission of having no particular talent.
During London and Dim’s quest to become celebrities they meet Nicole Bitchy a celebrity who is famous for simply being famous. She advises London and Dim that in order to become famous celebrities they must wish for their fairy godmother to visit them who in turn will make all their dreams come true. This is when London and Dim actually meet their fairy godmother, an over the top, camp and highly energetic character called Rupert Murdoch, played by Sam Haughton. Haughton’s performance brings a brand new dynamic to the show, his high energy and camp portrayal of Rupert Murdoch is a welcome addition and from the audiences response a popular character. Murdoch succeeds in helping London and Dim become celebrities by any means possible, through media manipulation, phone hacking and a well-timed sex tape as well as other dirty tricks London and Dim soon come to realise that fame and fortune is not exactly what they had hoped it would be.
The show has some fantastic performances from some young and promising performers, mixed with very clever songs with catchy and ironic lyrics The Daily Fail was a treat to watch. Not only does it highlight the intrusive behaviour of some media outputs in this country but also the desperate nature of celebrities to keep themselves in the spotlight or even excel themselves into the spotlight in order to become famous. The set is minimal and the costumes simple and few but what this show lacks in high production values it more than makes up for in talent and originality. If like me you have had enough of teary eyed wannabes taking up too much space on your television screen every weekend then treat yourself to a ticket to this funny, entertaining and thought provoking show before it finishes its run at Waterloo East Theatre.
In such a fragile and uncertain economic climate where funding to the arts is being repeatedly cut and even high profile West End musicals are closing early due to poor ticket sales it is refreshing to see that someone somewhere has taken a chance on a new musical with original songs performed by a cast of young, vibrant and relatively unknown performers.
Review by Haydn James
October 15th to 20th 2013
Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Sunday at 4pm
Running time approx 120 minutes with an interval
Suitable for ages14+
Tickets: £15 / £12 Concession
Box Office 020 7928 0060
Thursday 17th October 2013