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Baddies: The Musical review at the Unicorn Theatre, London – ‘original and funny’

Dean Nolan and Kathy Rose in Baddies: The Musical at the Unicorn Theatre, London. Photo: Manuel Harlan Dean Nolan and Kathy Rose in Baddies: The Musical at the Unicorn Theatre, London. Photo: Manuel Harlan

“We need the bad guys” is the final chorus in this original and funny show. A group of fairy tale villains find themselves in prison. Then along come a couple of good characters to rebrand them. All is not, of course, as it seems. It’s original and intelligently funny. “Are you a pirate now or a lawyer?” someone asks Captain Hook (Miles Yekinni who plays it somewhere between The Mikado and Jamie Oliver). “Same thing,” he snaps back.

Christian Roe delights as the slightly camp, very self satisfied Pan (“I’m cool, but don’t I look hot?”) and Kathy Rose O’Brien manages to communicate all the real villainy we’re not expecting her to have simply by readjusting her face.

Dean Nolan is a Big Bad Wolf with heart. David Mackay’s Rupelstiltskin is a “wee Scots laddie” with a talent for mental arithmetic and Claire Sundin and Kelly Ogbowu are sparky as the sympathetic ugly sisters.

Sam Sommerfield is tucked away at the back of the big thrust space with a fine band (including two talented actor-musicians, Lila Clements and Jack Benjamin). The melodious, memorable music is in good hands with a cast which plays (and sings) well off each other.

The first half is such fun that my face ached with beaming by the interval. But the pace flags a little thereafter partly because the whole show, excellent as it is, would benefit from losing 15 minutes or so.

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Enjoyable, original and funny show for ages six and up