Every time they take the stage Rhymes Against Humanity perform a world premiere of a brand new musical. From the first notes of the opening number we have characters, songs, music and dance that delight the audience lucky enough to see this unique performance. It really is a treat.
The show I saw was “Sandals, Scandals, Sandals”, a musical about London Fashion Week where wearing the right thing means everything. The hero of the story was Norbert (Lloydie James Lloyd), a new recruit to the Fashion Police who was warned that just a single case of mismatching socks would get him kicked off the force. This was no idle threat, his boss (Marilyn Ann Bird) having kicked out her own father for wearing a kipper tie. The danger came from a big-time American gangsters Sal (Emily Brady) and Eddie (Martin Dewey-Findell) who were determined to control the clothes, hearts and minds off all who attended the show. Norbert fell for Sal and ended up with a difficult choice – either wear what she’d asked him to and lose his career, or stay fashionable and lose the woman he loved.
I loved it. This really was a full blown musical, with songs in every scene – solos, duets and group numbers – all supported by choreography from the other players and strong music throughout (Sam Plummer). The core strength of the show meant lots of fun could be had around the edges, in particular by the trio of old men (Liam Webber, Phil Carruthers & Jack Cross) visiting London Fashion Week for the first time. One old guy had faked his own funeral, a joke magnified when we found out he’d unnecessarily forced a living person to take his place. Another old guy having pockets full of mints was a great running gag. Impressively, this incidental silliness was later linked to other parts of the show. Having pockets full of mints meant keeping important things in your shoe, linking back to the opening number. The fake funeral was necessary as the old man was the father that had been kicked out of the Fashion Police. The fact that all members of the troupe reused and reincorporated so many dangling threads was fantastic. This really is one of those shows that gives the impression of being prepared in advance, a great compliment to all those involved in bringing it to life.
Rhymes Against Humanity perform across the Midlands – full list of shows below: