To pee or not to pee?
That is the question facing the poverty-stricken citizens of a town where toilets have been privatised as the answer to a permanent drought. Corporate greed and oligarchy at large, Urine Good Company have forced a ‘pay to pee’ fee, and if you relieve yourself without relieving yourself of some cash...well, it’s Urinetown for you, buddy. A rebellion grows and star-crossed lovers find themselves trapped in a fight for [bladder] control, culminating in a timely narrative that parodies musicals, including musical theatre as a trope itself while obliterating the fourth wall.
Full disclosure: Urinetown is my favourite musical. It’s oddball, utterly unique and catchy-as-hell, and it takes a cast like this one to really embody the essence of the show as a strong ensemble piece. This particular ensemble from the award-winning high school conservatory The Harker School blows you away with their character work and synchronicity, a display well beyond their years.
Ellie Lang-Ree as Little Sally is the secret weapon of this production, playing the precocious sidekick soliciting plenty o' laughs. As an actress, she has great instincts, with a confident, full singing voice. Our main lovebirds Mathew Mammen and Emmy Huchley as Bobby Strong and Hope Cladwell not only have great chemistry but also add nuance, panache and comedy to their performances. The cherry on top of this excellent cast is Joel Morel as Hot Blades Harry, a young actor who doesn’t waste a single moment of his performance; he was just electric, pulling off Snuff That Girl to thunderous applause.
The cuts to shorten the piece were well-thought-out, with nothing essential being scrapped. The piece is wanting for higher production value, particularly in lighting and audio, but overall it is hilarious and impressive.
Coming over from the United States as part of the American High School Theatre Festival, these students, unfortunately, have only two more dates on this month so run, freedom, run your way to the ticket booth.
Aug 5, 7 at 13:15