Rooms: A Rock Romance

Finborough Theatre, West Brompton Friday May 10 2013 19:30

Never mind the story, this is a spirited pop at a rock musical. This two-person show has apparently prospered in the USA, but Miriam Gordon’s script is a generic rock saga about a Glaswegian couple making it on the punk scene of the late ’70s – first in London and then New York.

Drink gets the better of moody guitarist Ian, but singer Monica P Miller is determined to build on the success of their band The Diabolicals, ditching him and their noms de guerre ‘Lilian Filth’ and ‘Perry Comatose’.

Paul Scott Goodman’s music follows the same trajectory, starting with vaguely risqué riffing at a Clydeside bat mitsva. But the relationship between extrovert red top girly and glum brown top guitarist is cemented with Goodman’s punk pastiche songs ‘Bring the Future Faster’ and ‘All I Want Is Everything’ – mixing The Buzzcocks with X-Ray Spex. We then drift into Dean Friedman ‘We Can Thank Your Lucky Stars’ territory with a torch song, ‘Happiness’, before ending with a rock hymn to Scotland and its ‘misty mountain weather’ (inevitably rhymed with ‘heather’).

If the music comes in and out of focus and the lyrics and dialogue need a cliché clean up, Andrew Keates’s strenuous production certainly toils effectively. As the brooding Ian, Alexis Gerred is a presentable dipso who makes the most of the material and gallantly allows Cassidy Janson’s Monica to shine.

She is not the anorexic waif referred to in the dialogue, but she has vocal heft and that psycho ‘I’m gonna live for ever’ sparkle in her eyes. In such a small venue the band are inevitably part of the show, but Barney Ashworth is a little too keen on the keyboards, goofily hamming it up and at one point thrashing a cowbell – surely a punk rock first. Patrick Marmion

Venue name: Finborough Theatre
Contact:
Address: 118
Finborough Rd
London
SW10 9ED
Transport: Rail/Tube: West Brompton; Tube: Earls Court
Price: £18, £10-£16 concs
Event phone: 0844 847 1652