Canal Street Online Manchester

Jerry Springer the musical - Review

Hope Mill Theatre and Northern Ricochet are presenting Jerry Springer, The Opera until August 31st. Kill to get a ticket.

It’s all in the best possible taste where no proclivity is too shameful to be exposed. We start with someone double cheating on their fiancée and then move on to someone who soils himself for kicks. Thankfully, it’s all downhill from here, with each vignette plumbing ever further depths.

The opening act follows the format of the television series where people wanting their moment on screen go to ever greater lengths to show themselves in a bad light. If you still go to confession, you’ll need a longer slot next time.

The next two acts follow Jerry’s descent into hell and his ultimate redemption. If you have religious sensibilities (Jesus comes across as rather camp) or are a bit squeamish (a sex act involving barbed wire being shoved where it doesn’t normally go is threatened, and nipple clamps make an appearance) then you might need to close your eyes or cover your ears for a while.

All of this depravity is delivered in song and dance, and carried along very ably by a 6 piece band who are sadly mostly hidden from us. Everyone sang with gusto and the choreography is skillful.

As might be expected, some of the vocal numbers are somewhat prurient, and some are really down and disgusting, but they are all uniformly hilarious, and their salty lyrics are  entirely fitting.

At the end of his act, the American comedian Mort Sahl used to say if there’s anyone in the audience I haven’t offended come back tomorrow and I’ll try harder. You won’t need to return to The Opera on that score, although you might want to go round again just to convince yourself it really was as you saw.

This is surely also one of the strongest ensemble casts ever assembled, with stand out performances and superb vocals from Emily Chesterton Peaches and baby Jane, David Burilin Montel/Jesus, Matt Bond Dwight/God with Michael Howe holding the entire production together as Jerry himself.

Campest performance of the evening (and believe me that took some doing) was from Andrew Patrick-Walker as Tremont and Angel Gabriel.

Bravo to all the very fine ensemble cast.

All in all, this is a hugely successful revival and deserves every plaudit – so take care of yourself, and each other.

Paul Schofield for Canal St Online.


Published: 15-Aug-2019 (5529) Top Stories

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