Sunday, July 14

Stranger Sings – Southwark Playhouse

Stranger Sings bursts back onto stage at the Southwark Playhouse this winter. This is an incredibly funny spoof of Netflix favourite Stranger Things that promises audiences a night of adventure, musical ear worms and non-stop laughter! This cast of incredibly talented performers use their captivating energy and beautifully blended voices to make this a musical that you will want to see over and over.

Stranger Sings returns to the Southwark Playhouse for a second run, after a sell-out season in the vaults last Christmas and a tour around the country that has excited audiences night after night. Jonathan House’s script is a love letter to the 80s, with lots of musical theatre jokes that are entertaining if you’ve not managed to binge the Netflix series before seeing the show. The songs are filled with recognisable melody’s, beautiful harmonies and catchy tunes.

Most of the actors in the musical play multiple characters in the show or fill in as background characters. This adds another level of entertainment as the audience gets to see the range in acting abilities. Howard Jenkins’s characterisation of Hopper in particular jumps off the screen. Howard nails all of Hopper’s recognisable mannerisms and facial expressions.

Anna Amelia and Alfie Doohan have excellent chemistry together on stage and are able to switch the energy while playing out different romances between Nancy and Steve or Jonathan and Nancy! Their voices blend wonderfully together they use their natural comic timing to create lots of funny moments for the audience. Anna is also a graceful lyrical dancer and is a fantastic lead during all the dance numbers.

Philippa Leadbetter plays Barb with boundless energy and natural comedy. Phillippa has a commanding presence and a powerful voice that she uses in Barbs Turn. Phillippa takes the time to make every moment funny and occasionally steals the scene creating funny background moments. She had everyone in fits of laughter with her solo ‘Barbs Turn’.

William Shackleton is excellent as Dustin, William has a strong Rich tone in his voice that perfectly complements the other actors. William shares good chemistry with Elliot Wooster (Mike) and Jessie Jae David (Lucas). Elliot embodies Mike’s youthful optimism well and Jessie does a good job of mimicking Lucas.

Verity Power bought the house down singing Crazy perfectly capturing Joyce’s despair and wild panic! Verity’s use of puppetry was also sharp in bringing will to life.

The creative elements of the show all come together beautifully. The intentional use of cheaper wigs sets the tone for the whole show! The set is recognisable from the tv show with the set encompassing the Byers house, the lab and even the upside down. It’s really clever how to set evolves. The lighting design in particular by Clancy Flynn stands out with floor lighting being used to help transform the scenes.

Stranger Sings is an outstanding production that will appeal to both musical theatre and Stranger Things fans. The cast use all of their skills to make this a lively hilarious show that viewers can enjoy over and over.

Playing until 6th January 2024,

Reviewer: Jennifer Laishley

Reviewed: 15th December 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.