Preview: In Her Eyes, a new musical

ELEANOR SHAW previews the new musical from St Annes’ student Toby Huelin- and likes what she sees

No jazz hands. At all. 

If your January wasn’t dark enough already, there’s a new musical written by St Anne’s third-year Toby Huelin to make you all depressed again- but in a good way. Featuring an earnest all-female cast (take that, feminism), some gorgeous dissonant yet soaring melody, and show-casing real female talent in a drama community that tends to shaft the talents of would-be choir girls, “In Her Eyes” promises to be a riveting and moving start to the drama season.

Not a sequin in sight

The show revolves around a young schoolgirl called Freddie, isolated and friendless, who embarks on a relationship with a faceless Jamie, whom we never see on-stage, but the action is told through the eyes of a female narrator who is seamlessly and symbolically (obviously) integrated with the audience so we see it through “her eyes” (!!)

Rumours, Chinese whispers, and alienation all spread like an STI in Magaluf through soaring operatic vocals and complex harmonies.


I watched a couple of numbers from the show, including a particularly moving ballad from the estranged and confused mother of the protagonist, effortlessly sung by Heather Young, and the opening number featuring bitchy schoolgirls which includes lyrics about Facebook which doesn’t seem incongruous and forced. The chorus number was generally well-sung with real enthusiasm and convincing performances, even from unnamed characters, and Huelin’s tricky but hypnotic score was attacked with zeal.

Singing about Facebook (it works)

“In Her Eyes” has all the promise to be the perfect antidote to all-dancing, foot-stomping jazz hands shows we are used to associating with musicals, not only just showcasing genuine vocal talent in a medium that isn’t a cappella, but offering a genuinely provocative, moving, and at times disturbing story.

“In Her Eyes” is playing at the Burton Taylor Studio in 2nd week (28th Jan – 1st Feb) at 9.30pm.