10th August 2019
Review by Shaun Tossell
“…Some Kind of Paradise…”
Max Vernon’s smash-hit musical, The View UpStairs, makes its way to London after a Off-Broadway run in 2017.
The View UpStairs is inspired by the true story of a 1973 arson attack in New Orleans. It was the largest single attack against the LGBTQ+ community until the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Florida in 2016.
It follows present-day fashion designer Wes, who is transported back in time to the The UpStairs Lounge on that fateful night, in a drug fuelled haze. He meets the various misfits and characters who inhabit the bar, which changes him forever.
The cast assembled is one of the best in London currently. The voices on display are phenomenonal; Powerhouse voice after powerhouse voice. Each cast member giving excellent nuanced performances.
Andy Mientus gives a stand-out performance as Patrick, a sweet young gay guy, who Wes (Tyrone Huntley) makes a connection with, but who has ulterior motives and a dark past.
The set design, costumes and lighting for this show brilliantly capture the aesthetic of the era. The lighting is particularly evocative, shifting seemlessly, changing the mood of each scene and musical number.
Fabian Aloise’s choreography is energetic and inventive, making good use of multiple props and the grand piano which makes a fabulous set-piece. His work continues to impress and is also currently wowing audiences at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Evita.
Max Verdon has infused the characters with life and hidden depths; The same is said for the wonderful music and songs he has wrote, ranging from 1970s pop-rock numbers to beautiful heartfelt ballads.
The moment we all know is coming, still hits you like an emotional sledgehammer. The reality of the event horrified and broke my heart. The abuse and prejudice these people received carried on even after death.
This show is a call to arms to not forget how far we have come and a reminder of how far we still have yet to go.
Book now to avoid missing one of the best shows of the year. This is a story needs to be be seen and heard.
Book Tickets – https://sohotheatre.com/shows/the-view-upstairs/