CU Show Choir

RHONDA NICHOLL sneaks out to sing the praises of Cambridge’s latest medley of musical morsels, and assures you that it’s OK for you to do the same.

CU Show Choir Disney Musical Rhonda Nicholl star wars

ADC Theatre, 17th May 11pm, 21st May, 2.30pm, £4-6


Musical theatre is good because you can always find a song to match your mood. Frustrated at sexual inequality? Fuel your rage with some Little Mermaid. (“Bright young women, sick of swimmin’, ready to stand.”) Has your cat died? Well, it’s The Circle of Life. Deal with it.

Right now, I’m banged up in an eating disorder unit, so my musical theatre choices are directed towards Sondheim’s ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ and ‘The Worst Pies in London’, on endless repeat.

Over-stimulated by too many branflakes, I absconded from the crackpot canteen, in search for some lighthearted musical respite.

Sure, there was no Sondheim or ‘serious’ musical theatre on this menu. But who cares? I got just what I wanted: a hefty dose of camp kitsch, served up with sequins, malfunctioning mics, dodgy dresses, and nifty choreography (people successfully enacting the banal to the bizarre, from Cars to Star Wars, is, in itself, worthy of 5 stars).

Starting a show at 11pm is swell because that’s just about the time when it’s permissible to reach for the slightly cringe iPod playlist under pretence of booze/sleep-deprivation/exam-induced madness (delete as appropriate).

This is the cocktail playlist that contains Avril Lavigne, a double dose of Disney, swirled around with a bit of Harry Potter (thematic), and a bite of an old classic, or two, like The Sound of Music or Queen.

It’s the playlist that doesn’t discriminate between the Gleeks or Glee-loathers (I fall into the latter camp), because it’s All Right for this music to come out under the veil of darkness. And it’s All Right for it to come out in a Contained Environment. It’s justifiable. It’s OK.

It was a swell show, guys and girls. The audience was packed. We didn’t care about the minor mishaps. Some songs were really, really good- the Aladdin songs, especially, were spectacular in their sustained manic energy. We encouraged, and heckled, and cheered. ‘FOR GOD’S SAKE,’ someone yelled, when one of the orchestra guys stopped playing mid-song. ‘DON’T STOP.’ Awkwardly he restarted. It was cringey, and flamboyant. But it was fun.

I’d encourage everyone to boycott the Berocca, and vanquish the Valium, and instead book in to see the matinee. But it’s sold out. Instead, inspired by a bit of musical frivolity, I think I’m going to go sneak into the hospital morgue and tapdance to ‘Being Alive’. More, please, more.