January 19, 2012

Lonely Heart by Michael Nicholas Williams

I will admit I am a sucker for musicals so this review may be slightly biased.

Based on a true story of the notorious Lonely Heart Killers and inspired by the film of the same name, Lonely Heart is a musical full of dark humour one might compare to Sweeney Todd (minus the messy bloodshed).
Martha has lucked out in life, her story so far is one of heart break and it doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. That is until a friend sends her on a blind date with murderous results.

I did wonder at first whether, with a cast of only five, the actors voices would be drowned out by the music from one man band Michael Nicholas Williams. I needn’t have worried, Bryony Skillington (Martha) and her fellow cast members definitely aren’t ones to be drowned out. The cast flow well from dialogue to the songs, which all have individual feel yet there is repetition which links the story together from start to finish. I should also give praise to all for maintaining the various American accents through the whole show.

This is the first time I’ve seen a multi level set at BATS and the cast make good use of it, whether it be simply to show a second story scene or to separate story elements, creating scenes within scenes.

There are many dark tones and unpleasant topics dealt with in this play but it is done in a way that doesn’t exclude the audience but rather has us empathetically tumbling down the rabbit hole with Martha as she succumbs more and more to the sinful escapes from her former life. Lonely Heart toys with the audience’s perception and really makes us question where we stand as we judge/sympathise with each character.
This show really holds the mirror up to society and asks us to take a good look at ourselves, where we draw the lines on morality, decency, love and why.

Prices: Full $20 / Concession $14
On 8pm at BATS until January 28th (no show Sun/Mon)

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