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By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
The Toxic Avenger: The Musical at the Old Joint Stock
Written by Joe DiPietro with music by David Bryan and directed by Adam Carver
The Toxic Avenger, part musical comedy and part superhero adventure is at The Old Joint Stock Theatre in central Birmingham until 16th February and its a great show to see if you get chance!
Melvin Ferd III (Richard Haines) is misfit with no confidence and longs after Sarah, the local Librarian (Sarah Haines) who is blind, Melvin discovers that the toxic waste in their New Jersey town of Tromaville is caused by Mayor Babs Belgoody (Lizzie Robins) who looks like Michelle Visage and Kat Slater’s other sister. The Mayor instructs local bullies (Ellie Knowles and Gavin Whichello) to dump Melvin into toxic waste, but in doing so The Toxic Avenger is born! The cast is rounded out by Joash Mushundi and Alanna Bowden.
The versatility of the Old Joint Stock Theatre is really put to great use here, there are two rows on the long sides of the room and two rows at the back, there’s a raised two tier stage but lots of the action takes place on the flat floor in the centre of the room. This is resident Old Joint Stock Musical Theatre Company (OJSMTC) really having a lot of fun in their own adult playground.
It’s a bit of strange choice to have a blind character be the butt of some jokes but it really allowed the audience to really feel what being blind might be like and it is really integral to the plot. The supporting actors get to enjoy themselves bring us different characters and they really throw heaps of personality into their creations.
Given his solos to shine, this is really Richard Haines role as he deals with responsibility, gaining control of his own power and his vocals become powerful as the show progresses. The leading ladies hold their own too, Sarah Haines’ Sarah is not really in need of a hero to save her. And Lizzie Robins clearly loves her dual role of the Mayor and Melvin’s Mother, she even sings her own DUET!!
There’s more than a hint of Edinburgh Fringe, Rocky Horror, The Mask and a host of other comedic superheroes thrown into this show. Well worth seeing this cheeky, daft and funny production!
Check out The Toxic Avenger: The Musical at The Old Joint Stock until 16th February 2019. Book tickets here: oldjointstock.co.uk/whats-on/the-toxic-avenger
When not blogging theatre for #BrumHour, Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and claiming to be at the gym. And tweeting about Birmingham.