Monday, April 22

Boom Town – theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

‘Boom Town’ is billed as a story of family, morality and feminism. Set during the Gold Rush in a town named Crimson, the show focusses primarily on Beau Barton, the daughter of the town’s sheriff, as she tries to find where she fits in her hometown.

The main selling points of this show are the performances by the actors, and the score. Vocally, it is very difficult to fault the actors, who effortlessly knock out incredible solos and ensemble numbers, with some really nice-sounding harmonies. This was also all done while singing in an accent, that was well-executed and consistent both throughout the show, and with each other. With regards to the score, Matilda Booth has managed to effectively fuse classic musical theatre with country-and-western influences, to give an end-product that does occasionally veer into ‘Oklahoma!’ territory, but still wholeheartedly retains its own vibe. Some of the lyrics are a bit repetitive, but there are also some real highlights (The opening number was a stand-out for me). This is definitely a show that has real promise.

However, my main complaint is that this show is a bit overambitious. Alongside the aforementioned plot line surrounding Beau Barton, there’s also a plotline involving a love triangle, and a further narrative focussed on Beau’s Dad. All of these are great plotlines that have a lot of potential and are really enjoyable but, because of time constraints, none are given the time required for them to feel fully fleshed out by the end. It also means that there’s often quite a long period of time between scenes involving Beau, making it unclear what the focus of the show was (I wasn’t entirely clear on what their intended focus was until I looked up their Fringe page for this review). Cutting one of the two side-plots would likely have solved these problems.

Overall, this is an enjoyable show with a lot of good features. However, it needs to either be tidied up, if the writer wants to keep it as a 50-minute show or extended into a 2 hour long show in later development, for the potential this material has to be fully put to use.

Reviewer: Ella Catherall

Reviewed: 27th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★