EMPOWERING AND ENDEARING: The RSC’s new musical The Boy In The Dress Reviewed
Taking a new musical from page to stage is a daunting and challenging task. Actually, getting a project anywhere near developed to get it anywhere near a stage is a mammoth task, let alone getting it in front of an audience of any kind. But most projects don’t have music created and composed by the magical partnership of Guy Chambers and Robbie Williams. Add in the wonderfully naturalistic comedy writing of David Walliams and a story line that doesn’t so much chime with our times as set off a klaxon, and you have a hugely entertaining, endearing and empowering new family musical that really represents our times.
Things aren’t good at home for Dennis. Mum has gone and no one is allowed to talk about it let alone display any emotion; that’s not what boys do. The football team in which Dennis is star striker are heading to the final and school is being run by a headmaster that is all set on stamping out individuality and freely admits that he ‘Hates Kids!’ It’s no wonder that he needs an escape from the everyday and that escapism comes in the form of wearing a dress – a chance discovery following a newfound interest in a copy of Vogue and the attentions of everybody’s school sweetheart Lisa James. Things go further when Dennis becomes Denise for the day and ends up getting the whole school football team together in a last-ditch attempt to win the league and beat the headmaster.
A wonderful set of moving houses and ordinary streets appears as if jumped straight out of the book along with some amazing big group dance numbers and fancy footed football matches, means the stage is constantly buzzing and bright with solid performances from a cast of all ages that represents Britain today.
It is the score that’s the real star of the show though with songs as catchy as any chart topper, and sure to have you humming all the way home and well into the next day.
The Boy In The Dress is at The RSC until March 2020 and is must see family entertainment for all.
For tickets and to find out more visit www.rsc.org.uk
Photos by Manuel Harlan