First shown in 1965, Lionel Bart’s Twang!! has been adapted by Julian Woolford and Richard John and makes its London debut at The Union Theatre. Still in keeping with the well known ‘Robin Hood and his merry men’ narrative, in this world, Robin has lost his ‘twang’, desperately trying to get his mojo back in order to become the hero of the story.
The cast are extremely talented and committed to the production, living and breathing the musical with bounds of energy. Micah Holmes stands out as the Dance Captain as he attacks the choreography with power. The musical numbers themselves are very forgetful but with constant musical theatre in jokes and references to other musicals, we are kept entertained.
With a very loose plotline, constant smutty one liners and sign posting to gags – such as the merry men wearing tights or the ladies in waiting being cut free from their chastity belts, the musical feels more like an adult pantomime at times. This said, there were some extremely authentic characters as well, Louie Westwood’s camp Friar Tuck has to get a mention, playing the Friar as a Brummy homemaker with a deep concern for his recipes. Also director, Bryan Hodgson, has clearly tried to breathe as much new life as possible into the musical, with really pleasing puppetry moments, cleverly showing the characters’ journeys outside the castle.
For those looking for a show that’s uplifting and an easy watch, Twang!!, might definitely be the one for you. It’s playing until May 5th, in a strictly limited run, so catch it whilst you can.