Departure Lounge, Waterloo East Theatre, London
A musical about four lads stuck in Malaga airport departure lounge awaiting a delayed flight on the way back from a drunken after-A-level holiday sounds like a recipe for disaster. But thanks to the witty dialogue and extremely silly score, Douglas Irvine's musical made for a rather tasty (if not tasteful) theatrical concoction.
The predominantly male cast appeared to be having a great time. Brashly making misogynistic jokes one second and singing in falsetto voices the next. Their enthusiastic warbling, coupled with hilarious lines like, "Did she have a face like bulldog licking piss off a nettle?" produced belly laughs from the audience.
The boys, posh kid with a "Landan" accent JB (an impressive Chris Fountain), intelligent outsider Ross (an outstanding Steven Webb), Jordon (Liam Tamne), the quiet lady-killer with a secret, and badly sunburnt hard man Pete (Jack Shalloo), present a familiar spectacle of bawdy laddish friendship.
The balance of their politically incorrect joshing gets upset by rivalry concerning "a bit of a tart" they met during the trip, called Sophie, played very saucily by Verity Rushworth.
The ensuing flashbacks, anger, soul searching, and musings about being stuck in the departure lounge of life are a bit too sentimental but give the relentless humour some light and shade.
The production works well because, despite the simple premise of boredom and coming of age, every element is completely over the top. Macho dances and elaborate musical arrangements (notable was a scatting four-part harmony using only the word "gay") are performed with enough energy to cover any plot holes.
Brits on tour rarely a pleasure to watch. But Irvine's cringe-worthy rhymes and the rambunctiousness of the entire performance ensure that these ones are.
To 31 October (020 7928 0060)
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