Observations: Edinburgh's hit Oompa-fuelled show comes to London

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The Independent Culture

Munich's Oktoberfest may have downed its last stein for another year, but the Bavarian spirit lives on in London in the form of an Oompah-fuelled show that proved Edinburgh's most unlikely hit of the summer.

Blow Up! The Credit Crunch Musical has the sort of title that could make or break a run. But somehow this story of failed German financier Max Klein (alter-ego of stand-up comedian Charlie Talbot) was just what cash-strapped audiences were looking for, thanks to its energetic reworking of topical pop classics by the five-piece ensemble, Oompah Brass. Who wouldn't want to hear the concept of toxic assets explained via the medium of Britney Spears and a tuba? The show was a sell-out.

Talbot cites his days as a city head-hunter as inspiration for Klein, while Oompah's Nathan Gash and Patrick Johns put success down to that oldest of Edinburgh marketing techniques: busking on the Royal Mile. But A-level drama students couldn't compete with an RCM-trained trombonist playing Queen and the band was banned after a week for excessive noise levels.

Blow Up! now joins other recession dramas The Power of Yes and Enron in London. A national tour is planned for spring and there has been European interest – from Germany of all places. Coals to Newcastle, anyone?

To 29 Nov, King's Head Theatre, London N1 & Leicester Square Theatre, London WC2 (www.blowupthemusical.co.uk)

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