Following a successful career in marketing, Alick Glass created this new, original musical. Written in collaboration with his daughter, Reputation is an attempt to evoke the dotty, romantic musicals of the 1930s and 1940s.
In a French finishing school, American Michelle Grant has just finished writing her first novel. Her pals persuade her to send it to Hollywood, where an unscrupulous con artist plagiarises the work and turns it into a hot movie script. A court case ensues and, after the judge rules in her favour, she ends up marrying the lawyer who defends her.
As plots go, it has potential but Glass has struggles to turn it into a satisfying piece of musical theatre. Reputation is awkwardly structured and stuffed with clichés. There are lengthy speeches in place of action and it doesn’t help that the role of narrator is played awkwardly by the irredeemable villain of the piece.
Glass’ score is also uninspiring and littered with ideas that never quite take flight. Familiar musical phrases are regularly repeated and the lyrics struggle to fill the gaps.
Maddy Banks makes a saccharine leading lady and the power of Jeremy Secomb’s voice is underused as the hoodlum-cum-script editor – though with material as weak as this, it’s difficult to judge the performances fairly.
Glass needs to take Reputation back to the workshop and possibly engage a dramaturg and lyricist to knock it in to shape.