Review: URINETOWN, Alexander Gibson Opera Studio

It's a royal flush for the Royal Conservatoire's performance of Tony award-winning Urinetown in Glasgow this week.

By: Mar. 04, 2024
Review: URINETOWN, Alexander Gibson Opera Studio
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Review: URINETOWN, Alexander Gibson Opera Studio It was a royal flush for the Royal Conservatoire's performance of Tony award-winning Urinetown in Glasgow last week. Drawing on Theatre of the Absurd, clowning and Bertolt Brecht, this Tim Burton-esque musical uses quirky song and dance to explore humanity's deepest, darkest truths. 

A catastrophic drought means public urination is illegal. Public amenities are privatised, charging extortionate prices for the privilege to pee. Cleaner Bobby Strong (Kyle Doney) launches a rebellion sparking extreme consequences. The tale is narrated by gritty policeman Officer Lockstock (Nathan French) and Little Sally (Mackenzie Wilcox), who are quick to tell us this won't be a happy musical. Breaking the fourth wall is cleverly used as a parodic device poking fun at the musical form.

The talent onstage is extraordinary - actors double as musicians simultaneously playing instruments, dancing, singing and acting. Ruth Mills' choreography is delightful, infusing Physical Theatre and Theatre of the Absurd presenting us with unique, exciting numbers.

As expected at RCS, every actor is phenomenal. Nathan French's Officer Lockstock is abhorrent and funny, Alice-Rose Creasey's Penelope Pennywise resembles a scarier Miss Trunchbull, Matthew Don's Cladwell B Cladwell is a delightful supervillain and Gregor McMillan's Senator has a walk that will have you in stitches. 

However, it is the Chorus that truly makes the show. Embodying the kooky townspeople, each member presents an individual character through flawless clowning, mime and Physical theatre. A special mention to Mairi Ikegami and Camila López Dávila - they are captivatingly hilarious.

Additionally, the piece cleverly integrates shadow puppet sequences accompanying the songs, thus constructing powerful images throughout the story. My only criticism is I wish there were more!

An enjoyable and welcome reinterpretation of the musical form, fully deserving of its standing ovation.

Urinetown was at the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio 

Photo Credit: Robbie McFadzean




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