Directed by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis
Presented by What We Did Next
Unity Theatre, Liverpool
2nd June – 4th June 2016
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
Despite the small stage space the large cast of What We Did Next provided two hours of provocative and often dark humour, taking the piss out of a future, or is it already here, dystopian political system.
The water drought on the planet, that is causing devastation to parts of the world, leading to many millions of people without access to drinking water, and ultimately death, was presented in a very satirical manner.
However, the 120 minutes duration of the production was bit too long. The second act of 60 minutes often reiterated what had previously been powerfully put across with verve and vigour, not to mention great playing by the five musicians sited at the back of the stage and great singing by the cast. ‘It’s a Privilege To Pee’ was memorable.
Set in Urinetown in the USA, municipal toilets are run by Urine In Good Company (UGC) and people are forced to pay a charge to use the toilet/lav/loo/WC….If caught peeing in the street heavy punishment will befall you, with the arresting force being principally led by police officer Lockstock (and perhaps Barrell!), with the actor using a voice resembling Orson Welles. i am not sure whether this was intentional or not. Lockstock also acts as the narrator of the story.
The rebellion by the masses is led by toilet attendant Bobby Strong, who becomes a sweetheart of Hope, the daughter of the conniving and ultra-manipulative head of UGC. The name and play on words of Hope is used in many different contexts. However there may not be too much to hope for in the near future.