Pins and Needles

This event has now finished. Until Dec 11 2010

© Joseph Steyne

Time Out says  

Posted: Wed Nov 24 2010

In a perfect world,Rachel Grunwald'sraging, exhilarating production of this 73-year-old Broadway hit would make West End finally begin to see London's febrile fringe musical scene as a threat. Unlikely, but at least now 'Billy Elliot' isn't the only song and dance show in town with a spine. Receiving its belated UK premiere, Harold Rome's left-wing satirical revue is set in Roosevelt's America but Grunwald seasons it with fresh British ingredients, including a fine young ensemble and an encore that castigates chancellor George Osborne with gleeful fury.

The astonishing thing, though, is how little updating is required: 'if his name is foreign-sounding, call him un-American!' runs 'We'd Rather Be Right', a song that perfectly skewers the current rhetoric of the US right; 'A Matter of Principle's caustic portrait of a wealthy tax dodger could have been written yesterday and nearly all 19 sketches remain razor sharp.

A left-wing polemic effortlessly in tune with the frustrations at banks, politicians and big business that have boiled onto our streets of late, it is also funny, stylish and pacy, with persuasive singers and strong comic actors. If you prefer your musicals feelgood, well that's fine: little has changed since'Pins and Needles' was written, but its anti-establishment potshots are ablaze with optimism and working-class pride. A musical for our time.

Cock Tavern Theatre details

Cock Tavern Theatre, 125 Kilburn High Rd, London NW6 6JH

Cock Tavern Theatre

This popular pub theatre (above The Old Cock in Kilburn) is headed up by artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher who has competently programmed an...

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