Tim Winter

Review: URINETOWN at the Bridewell Theatre

Urinetown If you hurry you'll be able to catch the last few performances of the musical Urinetown at the Bridewell theatre, and you should as it is very good. Even more impressive is that it wouldn't look out of place in the West End.

Set in the not too distant future (though some would argue we're already there), a water shortage has led to the privatisation of bodily functions and the people have to pay for the privilege of going for a pee. Those who can't, or won't, pay are arrested if they do what comes naturally anywhere else other than in the privately owned facilities run, at great profit, by a megacompany called Urine Good Company, or UGC, led by CEO and all round filthy capitalist Caldwell B. Caldwell (Dan Saunders). Once arrested, the poor incontinents are exiled to Urinetown, never to return. Then one day...

The show knowingly relishes every musical cliche and pastiche plot wise and song wise to get its not very subtle political message across, but its heart is in the right place and this production is terrific fun, very well sung by all the leads and a rousing chorus of extras. Directed imaginatively by Yojiro Ichikawa and Movement Director Kimberly Barker, there's a balletic grace to the fast-moving proceedings along with the toilet humour. It's not quite like anything you've ever seen. Definitely worth spending a few pennies on a really good night out.

And the 5 piece band, led by Ryan Macaulay, were so good I thought they were a recording!