With the festive season in full swing, the days leading up to Christmas offer us a chance to reflect on the year just passed, and celebrate accomplishments. Closing the 2021 theatrical calendar at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Clarke Peters’ Olivier Award Winning Five Guys Named Moe is a fitting conclusion, a man’s potential journey into oblivion stopped by the wise words of his alter egos.
Originally staged at both the National Theatre and Stratford East Theatre Royal in the early 90s before premiering on Broadway, the musical has made various welcome returns here, it’s latest at Upstairs at the Gatehouse a jovial exploration of life and what it has to offer. Staged on a traverse set up, the production’s lively band – John Reddel and Griffin Jenkins on piano, Jonny Munn on the trumpet, Ellie Marsh on Reeds, Myra Brownbridge and Mario Riccitelli on Bass and Liam McCloud on drums beautifully underscore the evening, the production’s soulful jazz element that much more appreciated and celebrated.
Juan Jackson’s charismatic lead Nomax, a man down on his luck who seeks an escape via the consumption of alcohol, KM Drew Boateng’s powerful Big Moe, AJ Lewis’ suave Eat Moe, Andre Coulson’s assured No Moe, Kieran McGinn’s charming Four Eyed Moe and Christian Maynard’s confident Little Moe all tackle the evening’s pertinent issues of loneliness, alcoholism and mental health well, the ensemble effort a commendable one! Mykal Rand directs a cool, sophisticated evening, his choreography sleek and entertaining to watch, the cast’s vocals wonderful to listen to – a much needed remedy for our uncertain times!
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Five Guys Named Moe is currently showing at Upstairs at the Gatehouse until Sunday 16th January 2022. To find find out more about the production, visit here…