Daniel Evans’ revival of the 1927 classic perfectly showcases the feel of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s musical Show Boat. The cast is absolutely flawless and they work together in complete harmony making the whole performance an utter delight.
The highlights of the show for me were Emmanuel Kojo’s ‘Ol’ Man River and Rebecca Trehearn’s ‘Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man’. Both explored the depths of the lyrics and brought out the emotional side of the songs to great effect to the audience. The romanticised past of the Show Boat is fading, although not forgotten as Magnolia (Gina Beck) steps into the limelight and wows the audience with her rendition of ‘After the Ball’. The choreography is a real standout in this production as it brings the thrust stage of the New London Theatre to life; the whole area is alive during the bigger numbers and is very effective within the space.
The set is wonderful yet simple, the boat itself appears very bright and shiny when the lights are on, but as soon as they are off you can see the rusting paint and the cracks within the structure. The costumes are gorgeous (a little dress envy there), and they perfectly compliment the set to really give the feel and mood of life on the show boat on the Mississippi river.
This timeless musical is brought to life with this talented cast as they face issues of racial oppression and turmoiled relationships as they sail down the Mississippi river. I thoroughly enjoyed this production and the faultless cast.