Liberty Rides Forth, Waterloo East
Review by Jac Bradley
This new musical, presented at the Waterloo East Theatre, is performed with gusto by the whole cast, all of whom are in fine voice.
The problems start and end with the story – A musical about a struggling writer, battling to finish a novel whilst dealing with an unrequited love for a work colleague. It is a story that has been seen before, many times. The geeky protagonist, who enjoys internet cat videos and World of Warcraft, is down in the dumps because he can’t talk to girls. He laments her seeming interest in another man and believes that he should be with her instead; fairly standard stuff. Writer/Producer David Kent tries to add a new spin on the tale with the inclusion of the Ancient Greek Muses, three women who are charged with inspiring our struggling hero, in order for them to graduate to fully fledged Muses.
Unfortunately, an incantation goes awry and ‘Liberty’ is summoned, played by Drag Queen Dereck Walker. Whilst this could have been an interesting addition, the story becomes muddled. The first act she is merely there to serve the writer, Trevor, acting as a muse and giving relationship advice; in the second act, however, she is imbued with an undefined power, that becomes stronger, giving her influence over Trevor’s world, it all gets a bit… confusing.
The message of the play was also slightly worrying, whilst in the end, everything turns out ok, the journey to get there is littered with disturbing signposts. Trevor’s frustration at not getting the girl is treated as completely normal and justified, but really comes across as a bit creepy and self-pitying, whilst a song called ‘Revenge’ focuses on how good it would feel to take out his frustrations on an innocent party, citing that it’ll feel good and would, again, be justified.
As I said, the cast, perform admirably. Georgie Faith, Chloe Rice, and Emma Scott as the three Muses are beautifully paired, and create a wonderful harmonic chorus – much like the Little Shop Of Horrors trio – and Dereck Walker’s Liberty certainly has a spirited presence. William Hazell as Trevor, our protagonist, has a more difficult job, vocally strong and bringing a degree of warmth, but unfortunately, the character is just not very likable.
The team did a decent job with Liberty and the songs are enjoyable, but unfortunately, there is nothing new to see here.
Liberty Rides Forth is on at Waterloo East Theatre until 21 October https://www.waterlooeast.co.uk/liberty-rides-forth