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Blacklisted Johnny Reno may have talent but his career isn’t going anywhere unless he names names in Adam Meggido and Roy Smiles’ new musical, set in early 50’s America during the McCarthyite era.

Whether Jon-Paul Hevey’s Johnny will opt to preserve his moral integrity or to clear his name for the sake of his pregnant fiancée and the future of his comic double act (with Chris Holland’s’ alcoholic Rags Ryan) is potentially the stuff of serious drama, counterpointed here by its burlesque setting in the failing Palace Theatre.

The plot takes a while to find focus, but with pastiche vaudeville numbers, a lecherous theatre owner, and stripping showgirls filling the tiny stage (plus nifty lyrics which combine entertainment with political comment) this enjoyable show – with just a bit of trimming- deserves a longer life.

Jermyn Street Theatre SW1Y 6ST
020 7287 2875
Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Until December 18
£20
ticketweb.co.uk

- Louise Kingsley


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Burlesque - review
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