Urinetown – The Musical

Urinetown The Musical Hills Musical Company 2024The Hills Musical Company. Stirling Theatre. 11 May 2024

 

The Hills Musical Company’s latest offering Urinetown - The Musical, now playing at the Stirling Theatre, first  premiered in 2001, picking up 3  Tony Awards. It is based on the book of Greg Kotis with the musical was co-written by Kotis and Mark Hollman.

 

Against the then-emerging topic of climate change this is the story of the imaginary town of Urinetown, where after a 20 year drought private toilets are banned.  Urinetown is but one of many towns throughout this world - and a poor one at that. It could even be Your-town, and so (as in all good revolutions), the seeds are sown and germinated of greed, power, and struggles, and ultimately rebellion - and sacrifice. But who will prevail?

 

This Urinetown is a victim of climate-change. But they are not immune - for there are Urinetowns everywhere - now and into the future. And if not climate change - what's next off the list? This is both political and social commentary in a musical guise and it beguilingly draws us in. And powerfully so. This is a well-crafted work - delivered with class, style, and excellent production & design values. 

 

If Act I is its theme, then Act II is its story. And so intertwined.

Act I focuses on Urinetown - the town, its people and its 20 year drought, where only pay-as-you-go public toilets remain, its impact and impost on the poor, and against the perfidy of the big-end-of-town.

 

Act II is the rebellion and the replacement of something better. More equitable. Yet does it ultimately deliver this true panacea?

 

In one vein, Urinetown may not even be a musical - only a political piece with music. If so, then this Hills Musical Company production at the Stirling Theatre dispels any such notion. Quite simply this is both ambitious and outstanding. To suggest that it has transferred easily from the page to the stage would be incorrect - for it has all the hallmarks of thoughtful casting where everyone can (no must) sing, dance, act, and play comedy. This is brilliant ensemble stuff.

 

Urinetown has a mighty strong principal cast and is a great strength. Yet too the collective, and the individual performances are the strength of the on-stage delivery - particularly as this is as much about comedy, as it is musical. It just all works!

 

For Director, Ruby Pinkerton this is a remarkable collective group of skilled people who embrace and deliver beyond the plot on the page. She is well supported by the production team. Jemma Allen's choreography is pivotal to the pace and the continuity of the show. 

 

If this is a courageous production - with some risk, then bravo!

 

Brian Wellington

 

When: 10 to 25 May

Where: Stirling Theatre

Bookings: trybooking.com

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