Wasted Love

Yes! This is everything you, I, everyone wants in a musical. Fresh and new, this baby sashays its glittery way down the catwalk – which is quite ironic, given the squalor in which the action takes place.A dank room with a drippy ceiling and furniture languishing under dust sheets serves as a regular meeting-place for Wasted Love, a support group for those with relationship issues. Contrasting archetypes sit shoulder-to-shoulder as they talk through their various hang-ups: one woman can't let him go, texting and calling, ever-waiting for a reply; a stalker can't quite see why he fabricates relationships incessantly; a brassy broad always has to be the centre of attention, and so on. Through a series of 'sharing' sessions they seek to uncover the personal truths behind their misfortunes and tackle them head-on.Successful modern musicals are always situationally realistic, unlike opera (think Edges, The Last Five Years) and often based on a conflict- or problem-resolution format, so this piece succeeds on the contemporary front.The cast are bright and energetic, with a fantastic group dynamic – their unbeatable harmonies extend to their chemistry, while their infectious enthusiasm enables them to draw audience members on stage with no resistance.Robert Dalton's is a crass, slightly disturbing laddish character with a penchant for the dearly departing; it's a slightly caricatured roles based on an archetype, but he carries it off well. Certainly his acting comes across more strongly here than in the company's other Fringe production, Sunday in the Park with George. Dalton has been gifted with a heavenly tone, but sometimes strays off-key, such as in his necrophilic a cappella song.John McLarnon and Ruthie Luff are especially good here, excelling vocally and compelling us with their performance. The will-they-won't-they romance between the two provides light relief from the potentially heavy subject matter, skirting danger and advancing the plot. It also makes provision for a couple of nice solos from the former: McLarnon's stalker song, complete with unblinking eyes and the most adorable yet terrifying expressions, is a showstopping performance.Ensemble singing is consistently flawless: strong vocals with adventurous harmonies lead to an impeccable performance that imprints itself on your memory. There is a appreciable range of accents and singing styles on show, with a heartwarmingly lyrical Lancastrian and a folky German to name but two. Great it is to see a show shirking the traditional Broadway approach – honest, true voices that leave little room for error. In fact there is no artifice in this musical, whose whole premise is that of laying bare your soul.

Reviews by Fen Greatley

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The Blurb

The unpredictable relationship route from heartbreak to healing is shared by members of the Wasted Love support group. Touching, outrageous and hilarious. 'Anti musical for the masses ... I cried with laugher. Twice'  ***** (ThreeWeeks).

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