I first had Chis Burgess’s opus – he wrote the music and lyrics to Boys in the Buff – brought to my attention in July 2017 and thought then how original the show was with, at its heart, a very important message. This rather refreshing revival also shows how gloriously camp the show is, both sexy and scintillating. All styles are put into a jam-packed rollercoaster of a musical that is totally magical.
Robbie O’ Reilly, director and choreographer, has not hesitated to put dance numbers together that give affectionate nods to the flair of Bob Fosse, sultry synchronised chorus line parades to ballsy feather-inspired burlesque and even a touch of ballet.
This time around the cast of Aaron Blackburn, Samuel Howe-Barrett, Louis van Leer, Aaron Wood and finally a rather vivacious Katrina Zofia power through the routines and numbers with cheeky and innuendo-loaded dialogue in-between songs with an exuberance that just proves they are out to have a good time.
The whole thing zips along with a well rehearsed pizzazz and razzle dazzle that is just simply terrific. The melodies are strong and the harmonies tight with each cast member, especially Zofia, given an individual moment in the spotlight with their solo numbers from torch songs to disco heaven.
Burgess has at the heart of this musical a message that all bodies regardless of shape, size, colour, orientation are to be admired, loved and respected – and when the cast do delve into the world of bullying, cyber trolls, the pressure of living in a social media bubble, this is done with a sensitivity that is correct and to be admired.
This is brisk and fresh entertainment, full of seasonal joy, and hats off and a firm thumbs up to all concerned. And the finale – no spoiler alert from me – is just genius. Check out Boys in the Buff, it will put a smile on your face. Pure energy, fabulous and naughty lads getting naked, all done with the upmost sense of taste and decorum. Loved it!