Saturday, November 26

Stranger Sings – The Vaults

Based on the hit Netflix series, Stranger Sings Parody Musical is an entertaining show that will have you laughing from start to finish. With a talented cast playing multiple roles this lively show brings all of your favourite Stranger Things characters to life. Johnathan Houge’s script is hilarious with lots of catchy songs that are glittered with 80’s references.

As you enter the theatre you are drawn into the Hawkins set in Will’s house with fairy lights adorning the ceilings and walls. The bar is done up like Hopper’s cabin with an array of sofas, with the odd hanging torch on the ceiling, and the themed cocktails really help to build the atmosphere before the show. The set is quite simple with transformative props hidden around that take the audience to different parts of the story – and of course there is a lava lamp in the corner. Clancy Fynn’s lighting design helps to set different scenes with colour changing floor lights. Debbi Clarke does an excellent job as a 1 man and/musical director. Ellie Farrows costumes are instantly recognisable as different characters and really adaptable for all the speedy quick changes, with goofy wigs setting the tone for the show. I particularly liked the moving face on the Demogorgon!

Anna Amelia shifted flawlessly between playing Eleven, Nancy and Robyn, shifting her voice to play Robyn. Anna sung well in both characters and showed off her incredible dancing skills as Eleven. As Nancy she had great chemistry with Jonathan and Steve, and she captured Eleven’s innocence with her friendship with Mike. Joseph Riley successfully mimicked Mike’s facial expressions in a way that was humorous. The Adventure Song sung along-side Finton Flyn as Lucas and William Shackleton as Dustin was lots of fun with the boys riding around on bike handlebars. William nailed Dustin’s voice and characterisation, Finton kept Lucas as ‘The Cool One’ and also had a very funny scene playing Erica! Finton plays a fabulous Demogorgon that is a funny and playful version – that can somehow dance elegantly and gracefully in a scary way! Jonty Peach has great comical timing, he is suave as Steve, winking at audience members with swagger. Jonty plays an exaggerated creepy Jonathon completely transforming physically into the character and Jonty is hysterical as Dr Brenner. Howard Jenkins captures all of Hoopers characteristics well and makes a funny moment out of Hoopers only facial expression in the TV show.

Georgia Mcelwee is the absolute highlight of the second act as Barb, showing off her incredible range during Barb’s Turn, a song that is full of humour and musical references. The absolute stand out performance was from Holly Sumpton as Joyce and Will. Will was a muppet in Stranger Sings which suits his timid character and leads to endless jokes. Joyce becoming Winona Ryder being haunted by her previous parts during Crazy is just hysterical and a well written piece of comedy. Although Holly’s Joyce is clearly terrified, she waves her cigarette around in a characteristic way that is unhinged in a funny way.

Stranger Sings is a show not to be missed! If you have not seen the TV show you may still enjoy the show for its comical musical and pop culture references that are glittered throughout. Do not expect to be scared, Stranger Sings makes fun of the TV show in a light-hearted way that will have you smiling and laughing throughout. The cast bring Hawkins to life with boundless energy, comedy and fun!

Playing until 15th January 2023,

Reviewer: Jennifer Laishley

Reviewed: 13th October 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★