Originally conceived by Robert Shrock and then written by a gamut of accomplished writers, Naked Boys Singing is a pure hoot. With the opening number entitled Gratuitous Nudity the audience knew what they were getting into. This is not smut – or even vulgar – this is a celebration of the human body, the beautiful male form in all its guises, shapes, colours, ethnicity, tall, short, thin and podgy – we never use the word fat.
Rambunctious, raunchy and racy, the six gentlemen – namely Liam Asplen, Nick Brittain, Daniel Ghezzi, Kane Hoad, Daniel Noah and Jensen Tudtud are totally immersed in their respective roles and the fact they are naked does not distract from the skill each of them have in executing their craft.
The group harmonies are tight and very polished and when the guys perform their individual numbers they are allowed to exhibit their total talent. Certain songs, The Bliss of the Bris for example, are comedy gold, landing right on the entertainment target.
High camp combined with beautiful melodies made the whole thing zip along with a zeal and zest that has to be applauded. Stand out was Nick Brittain whose command of his role with his renditions of his solos Mr Entertainer and Robert Mitchum, both very clever ditties, were performed with a tailored elegance.
The whole thing works because of a very well planned running order of the songs, changing the pace and mood and going someway to explain the characters that were singing them, perhaps far more than if the actors were delivering spoken lines.
The comedy element of the show is exceptional, especially the number I Beat My Meat, and with the clever use of props, just makes the ensemble number complete. There is also a romantic vibe applied and when a certain style of music is lampooned, in this case the light operetta world of Gilbert and Sullivan, this is a glorious send up.
I totally enjoyed Naked Boys Singing and what is achieved here is a fabulous attempt to ask an audience to unwind, relax and enjoy a rip-roaring night of theatre that can only put a huge grin across your face. Keats said: ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’; he was correct!
Photos by NatLPho
Naked Boys Singing runs to mid November at The Garden Theatre at Eagle Late, 349 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, London SE11 5QY. Box office: www.gardentheatre.co.uk
Check out the website for actual performance times and the nights the show is on.