FRINGE REVIEW – Soho Storeys

*****

Until 21 Aug  1400 (1500) @ Pleasance

Its 1953, in Soho, London and this bustling tenement block is full of immigrants’ stories from the storeys.  It’s just after the war, and the migrant workers are learning to fit into their new abodes, with all the trials and tribulations that come with it.
 
The production is beautifully put together with this 35 strong team of talented young actors.  The set up provides a great opportunity to witness the talented orchestra at the rear of the stage.  However, the highlight within the set design is the impressive use of wheeled stairs and accompanying platforms as props for the entire performance.  The clever use of these provides a multitude of different settings, all wheeled around by these young actors between and during scenes.  The most remarkable being the creative effect of a full flight of tenement stairs.
 
The costumes and dance routines, to the sounds of jazz, jive and bebop, are beautifully put together.  The tales of love, work and survival in the Soho tenement are delightfully told by the Italian, French, Russian and Jamaican immigrants (to name a few) as their lives intertwine.
 
Unfortunately this performance was just short of being polished enough for four stars, but for talented and fun musical youth theatre this is a truly enjoyable experience.  These young stars have a great future.

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