• Dress Circle Reviews

Lift, A Musical - Review

It’s always exciting to get to review relatively unknown works and find a hidden gem which is just what Southwark Playhouse have given us with Lift. It’s a unique show with a clever story that’s been 10 years in the making.

It’s about a busker who’s just broken up with his girlfriend. He is in a lift with a group of strangers and projects stories onto them. As the stranger’s stories all start to intertwine, they reflect different stages of his relationship back to him as he struggles to come to terms with the reality, which these strangers had allowed him to escape from. As they leave the lift their imagined stories have a profound impact. In its short 90 minutes Lift takes you through a range of emotions but ultimately leaves you happy and hopeful as you exit the theatre.

The music is exciting (we’ll be listening to the concept album on Spotify soon) and the direction (by Dean Johnson) and choreography (by Annie Southall) really emphasise the emotion of each song. The show has a simple set which is used in an inventive, but unintrusive way, allowing the focus to remain on the performances.

And for those performances they have acquired a stellar ensemble cast who all packed a punch with strong vocals and incredible harmonies that filled the theatre. Leading as the Busker is Luke Friend, best known for being on X-Factor in 2013 he has since broken away from that label and gives an impressive performance as the busker struggling with his emotions. While we’d love to mention all the cast other stand out performances for us were Chrissie Bhima, back at this theatre following her star turn in Once on This Island, and Cameron Collins who is definitely one to watch!

Entering the theatre I never expected an upbeat song about trudging through the tube tunnels or to go on such an emotional rollercoaster but with theatre you can’t always be sure what to expect. But what I do know is when the West End is looking for a new musical there is plenty of talent here which production company Perfect Pitch are helping develop.

Lift is a surprisingly uplifting (pun intended) show. If you want a great night out, find new music or just want to see great performances this show has it all. It’s only on until June 18th so get tickets now.

Rating: 4 Stars


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