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TEDDY: The Vaults, London ‘the must-see show of the season’ | Review

TEDDY – Molly Chesworth and George Parker. Photo by Scott Rylander

Teddy tells the story of two young adolescents, Teddy and Josie, who are about to hit the streets of London for a good time. Featuring electrifying original songs influenced by hits from the 1950s performed by the onstage live band Johnny Valentine and the Broken Hearts’ this fresh show mixes an original musical with the energy of a live gig. Teddy is the story of rebellious youth and the birth of a new musical era.

The unique style of story-telling in this show really makes it stand out from the crowd. The tremendously talented Molly Chesworth (Josie) and George Parker (Teddy) narrate the story and confidently take on multiple characters to great effect and do all this effortlessly.

Although the initial storyline may appear simple, the resulting product is far from it. With twists and turns, the two actors completely engage the audience and suck them in for a night out in the roaring 1950s. What made this musical-come-gig so unique was the insanely clever script by Tristan Bernays. The script itself was almost poetic in style and extremely pacy. The characters, however big and brash, felt believable and the use of narration throughout the show was a novel approach.

The onstage band Johnny Valentine and the Broken Hearts’ were fantastic and it made a pleasant surprise to see a female playing bass. Andrew Gallo, Freya Parks, Harrison White and Dylan Wood accompanied the show throughout and the original songs written by Dougal Irvine were completely in keeping with the era and were insanely catchy. Not only this, but the incredible band play whilst the audience take their seats and even have a live gig at the end of the show where the audience is invited to join them on the dance floor.

The interesting staging and stylised choreography by Eleanor Rhode and Tom Jackson Greaves were completely fitting the style of show and music. The actors utilised the small stage extremely well and the use of a multi-level stage added further to the show.

Whilst reviewing productions, the venues are often not spoken about but The Vaults and set designer, Max Dorey, must be commended for creating a truly immersive setting. From the rubble of the post-war era to the Rock ‘n’ Roll posters in the toilets. This theatre really does go to extreme lengths to make the audience feel part of the show and create a unique atmosphere and experience.

This fun, new show is a must for fans of Rock ‘n’ Roll music but is much more than that. With electric music, an innovative approach to storytelling and outstanding acting this is the must-see show of the season!

5 Star Rating

Review by Amanda Reynolds

Elephant and Castle, London. 1956. Saturday night.
Teddy and Josie are about to hit the streets of London for a good time. Hair quiffed. Red lipstick. Dressed toe to head in the latest threads. So what if it’s pouring down, they’re totally skint, and someone wants them dead? A little trouble never stopped a Ted from having a good time. Desperate times call for rock ‘n’ roll.

From the writer-director team behind Boudica at the Globe and Frankenstein at The Watermill Theatre and Wilton’s Music Hall in London comes Teddy, an award-winning, punchy new musical that races through the dark and damaged world of post-war London: a brand new Britain bombed to bits by the Blitz, belts tight with austerity, but ripe and ready for revolution.

With electrifying original songs influenced by hits from the 1950s performed by the on-stage live band Johnny Valentine and the Broken Hearts, Teddy is the ultimate story of rebellious youth and the birth of a new musical era. Bursting with the energy of a live gig, this is theatre that leaves you on a high and jiving all the way home.

Sarah Loader for Snapdragon Productions in association with

The Watermill Theatre present TEDDY
By Tristan Bernays
Music by Dougal Irvine
Directed by Eleanor Rhode
RUNTIME: 2 hours, 15 minutes with interval

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