Acorn Antiques: Keynsham Youth Theatre
Keynsham Youth Theatre
Originally intended as a satire Keynsham Youth Theatre does away with the play-within-a-play structure of Victoria Wood's Acorn Antiques. And while this removes the justification for the clichéd and contrived 'raise the money' plotline it does give the sense that it knows it's a Broadway musical. Leaning on the fourth wall is always a great way to make the audience feel like part of the fun.
Following a family antiques business as they watch their high street transform into a franchised nightmare allows Wood to bring her best humour. The citizenry of Manchesterford is a collection of doddery old women reminiscent of Dinnerladies and watching them try to comprehend the new bikini waxes and botox clinics easily provides the biggest laughs. If only the show could maintain the gag instead of moving it to extremes. Dressing characters up in modern clothing and slathering them in fake tan to utterly kill the comedic juxtaposition.
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In fact modernity is easily the show's biggest problem, two supporting characters in particular, framed as 'contemporary' teenagers, are so hammed up it makes you struggle to believe they're being played by actual teenagers. The performances in general are quite hit and miss as musical theatre demands big, bombastic performances that carry across the rows. Some understand this and some don't and the weaker voices are rendered inaudible in the louder musical numbers. In short a good attempt but the individual parts are greater than the whole.
The show runs until Saturday at Broadlands School.