image by dan in deutschland
i went to see a new production of hedwig and the angry inch last night (at the greenside church) starring jamie firth of w4 productions and i found it…
admitedly meh is still better than the utter eat-your-own-eyeball horror that was the 2005 production by ‘it ryhmes with anus’ janus productions, but it’s still just not quite good enough.
i hadn’t realised that hedwig was showing this year, and as it was the second last night i thought what the hey, i might just toddle along…
the good bits:
- an interesting take on the costume, though closer to secretary barbie than anything else, with a black pencil skirt, red satin blouse and red heels.
- an enjoyable version of ‘wig in a box’ with a good bit more rock than usual
- a surprisingly visually arresting moment near the end where, rather than the usual undies only, we have hedwig stripped only to the waist and becominging, literally
between East and West,
Slavery and Freedom,
Man and Woman,<br /
Top and Bottom.
the bad bits:
- the performance was static to say the least. the delivery was perfectly competent and the singing actually very good (the band less so) but there was no emotional connection. rather than the viceral blood, sweat and tears that kevin cahoon gave in the first uk tour of the show this hedwig was throwaway and rather stiff. insolent rather than angry. whether this was a deliberate directorial direction or an inability to move in heels i’m not sure but it didn’t pull off for me.
- an interpretation of the ‘wicked little town’ reprise that i thought was really off the mark. rather than moving moment of unity/apology/forgiveness/wholeness it came over as merely sarcastic and bitter. there was no absolution or conclusion for this hedwig.
- the makeup was terrible and the wig clearly a party shop special. given the ‘warm hand on her entrance’ hedwig’s look is hugely important and there really hadn’t been enough attention paid above the neck.
on the whole not a terrible show, not even bad just a little hum-drum. more a good amatuer performance than a bad professional one – but at £9.50 a pop, that’s not really enough.
report card says: could do better.
giving you some hed:
john cameron mitchell (writer, director and star of original stage version and film)
artwork by emily hubley used in original stage version and film