Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Review: See What I Wanna See at the Jermyn Street Theatre

See What I Wanna See 
Jermyn Street Theatre
Reviewed on Friday 11th September 2015

At long last Michael John LaChiusa’s thought-provoking off-Broadway musical See What I Wanna See has found its way to London! I've had several songs from the show floating around my iPod for years, but knew nothing at all about what the piece is actually about.

See What I Wanna See isn't the simplest of shows; based on three short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa it is all about seeing things from different points of view. We are introduced to a bunch of intriguing characters in some tricky situations - from a couple stuck in a doomed relationship to a priest battling against his faith. Questions are left unanswered and you're able to make up your own minds about who you can trust. 

LaChiusa’s incredibly unique score features a huge array of different influences. Songs are instantly catchy, I found myself humming several numbers I wasn't previously familiar with during the interval and on my way home.

The cast of five are brilliant. Cassie Compton has alluring presence whilst her stunning vocal tone fits the score nicely. Compton's rendition of the fantastic title song is a real highlight. Sarah Ingram is an absolute delight, she offers a masterclass with her act two performance of 'There Will Be A Miracle' - I was stopped in my tracks and left with tears in my eyes. 

It's quite something to see the show's original off-Broadway choreographer Jonathan Butterell perform in this production. He, Marc Elliott and Mark Goldthorp all charm their way through the piece. Adam Lenson's production is fun and feisty. 

The word of the night seemed to be "interesting", and it's true - See What I Wanna See is an incredibly interesting play which forces you to look at things in a different way. However, it is missing something. Perhaps the stories don't dig deep enough - I can't quite put my finger on what prevents See What I Wanna See from being taken to the next level. 

Nevertheless, I am thrilled that See What I Wanna See has finally found its way to London. Thank goodness we have producers like Katy Lipson from Aria Entertainment who discover these little gems and aren't afraid to take a risk by putting them on for London audiences to enjoy! See What I Wanna See dares to be different.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

See What I Wanna See runs at the Jermyn Street Theatre until Saturday 3rd October 2015.
Please visit www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Jamie Scott-Smith

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