Muted at The Bunker Theatre

By Alexis Keir

Evocative and moving night this week spent at the Bunker Theatre to see a new British musical Muted. It was the Bunker itself which first  made me catch my breath – looking for a classic street level auditorium I nearly walked past the wide carpark like ramp (next to The Menier  Chocolate Factory) leading down and away from the road. Bunker by name…. At the

At the bottom a square box of a performance space initially seemed undistinguished except for a triangle of neon on the backdrop and a simple swing hanging above a pool of water whose boundaries formed the stage. Intriguing. The 6 actors used these minimal props beautifully….swinging, circling, splashing…. and of course singing. The words British and musical in the same sentence don’t generally provoke a good reaction in

Intriguing.

The 6 actors used these minimal props beautifully….swinging, circling, splashing…. and of course singing. The words British and musical in the same sentence don’t generally provoke a good reaction in me. Especially in such a small space without a zillion showpeople prancing around. But this was great drama: a story of lost love, silenced talent and family disaster set around the battle for the heart of a girl between two former band members.

But this was great drama: a story of lost love, silenced talent and family disaster set around the battle for the heart of a girl between two former band members.

All the cast were good but the stunning voice and subtle ambiguity that Tori Allen-Martin gave to the role of Lauren caught between the two musicians stood out, as did the manipulative and sneeringly abusive performance of Jos Slovick as bad boy Jake. And the part of an uncle torn between caring and money making which could have descended into parody or irrelevance was given real depth and meaning by Mark Hawkins.  Go see it – it’s worth it to get your assumptions challenged about where and how musical theatre should take place.

Go see it – it’s worth it to get your assumptions challenged about where and how musical theatre should take place.

Muted is on at the Bunker Theatre, Southwark until January 7th 2017

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