Working - a ★★★★★ working joy!

★★★★★ Working

Upstairs at the Gatehouse has a well-deserved reputation as an off-West End venue that presents some of the best musicals. A standing developed over the last 21 years by John and Katie Plews, but also other producers and companies that have premiered some big Broadway and home-grown musicals in the space.
Producer, director and choreographer, Amada Noar has currently taken up residence with her Hi-Impact company with an extraordinarily smart, chic and stylish production of Working, a genre-defining musical from Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Rags, The Prince of Egypt) based on Studs Terkel's best-selling book of interviews with the American workforce.
As if that wasn't enough, Working features songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Mary Rodgers, James Taylor and Stephen Swartz with a book adapted by Nina Faso and Gordon Greenberg.
But even with all that expectation on their shoulders, this is an ensemble that seriously delivers. A super-talented group of eight young performers – Laura Allen, Kris Marc- Joseph, Lara Beth-Sas, Ryan Owen, Hannah Cheetham, Shivam V Patel, Makeda Ansah, Mikey Wooster - who inhabit the lives of the disparate workers that they so effectively portray. From hedge-fund managers, fast-food workers and UPS delivery man to the publicist, elder-care worker and interstate trucker with a waitress, teacher and even prostitute on the way!
This is a musical packed full with some brilliantly written vignettes, great music songs, and cleverly constructed stories that portray the contrasting, even eclectic, professions. Kris Marc-Joseph, the publicist, particularly made me chuckle, when he said, ‘you've only got one ass, so you can't ride two horses'. Hannah Cheetham as the ‘not just a waitress but a one-woman show' sang It's An Art radiantly with a 100% supportive company. Other standout performances came from Mikey Wooster, Ryan Owen and Makeda Ansah, but ultimately this is a company that is the definition of a true ensemble, all with a triple threat!
Special mention must also go to Phil Stannard for his sound design which enhanced Jamie Noar's musical direction and the voices. You could hear every nuance inherent in so many of the lyrics – so often neglected in other venues! Emily Megson's set was minimalist but smart and cleverly lit by Jen Watson.
Ultimate praise must go to Amanda Noar for cleverly representing the different jobs featured in Working and bringing together such a great company. They did not disappoint for one moment – whatever profession/job/trade/post they were called upon to do.
It just kept working - another Upstairs at the Gatehouse joy!

Working plays at Highgate's Upstairs at the Gatehouse
10 – 22 September 2019
Tuesday – Saturday at 7.30 pm
Sundays at 4.00 pm

£10 preview on Tuesday 10th September
£16 (£14 concessions) Tuesday – Thursday
£20 (£18 concessions) Friday – Sunday