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The writers’ own programme note sounds a cautionary warning that it’s “a challenge trying to explain what Lift is about”.

Though promising, this short new musical by Craig Adams (music and lyrics) and Ian Watson (book) really could do with some more work.

The basic conceit is that a love-struck busker imagines the lives of his fellow passengers crammed together into the lift making the brief ascent at Coven Garden tube station.

Julie Atherton’s gay, left in the lurch French Teacher (characters are defined rather than named) attempts to forge a tenuous connection with Cynthia Erivo’s Lap Dancer.

There’s a lovesick Secretary and a rather side-lined character called Tall, Dark and Handsome who has little more to do than look the part.

Most amusing is the blatantly promiscuous gay Ballet Dancer (Jonny Fines) in search of sex in on-line chat rooms or anywhere else the opportunity arises. 

It’s all a bit muddly, earnest and, at times, overblown though, and, despite a talented cast, the songs are forgettable.

Ironically, it’s the succinct final tableaux, just as the lift reaches ground level, which most effectively suggest just what’s going on in the minds of these commuters briefly thrust into such intimate proximity.
 

Soho Theatre, Dean Street, W1D 3NE
Tube  Tottenham Court Road
Until 24th February
£19.50- £29.50 (£10 standing)
sohotheatre.com

 

Photo: Darren Bell


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London theatre review: Lift at Soho Theatre
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