Posted on March 23, 2016 by Basement
Basement blogger and theatre superfan Jonty Crane talks to Nomi Cohen about her show, Hungover, on April 5 – 9.
How would you describe the show in one sentence?
A musical comedy about taking responsibility for our drunken actions.
There’s been quite a few comic musicals recently at the Basement (Twisted, Hiraeth, Jesus Christ Part II), any thoughts on why music and comedy are such a great combination?
I think it’s less to do with music and comedy, and more to do with musical theatre full stop. Last year saw the highest ticket sales in Broadway history which in this age of fast turnaround TV and movies proves that musical theatre is still as strong as it was in the golden age of the MGM classic, and continues to grow. Comedy is a really good way of introducing people to musical theatre in a very digestible way.
How important has first hand research been to developing the show?
First hand research hasn’t been done intentionally per se, but we did discuss the big night that the characters have had and were planning on taking it for a test drive. Unfortunately, we ran out of time, but it might be something we do in the future just for fun. The show has definitely developed from our own experiences. Sometimes a story makes it into the script and sometimes we accidentally spin a yarn for 10 minutes, but the whole process has involved a lot of input from everyone. I think that everyone will be able to relate to what these characters are going through not only with the aftermath of the night before, but with the complexities of their relationships. I think we have all been there.
What has been the most difficult part of the production?
How to market the show in terms of genre. Interestingly, it appears we have opened a dialogue about what exactly a ‘musical’ is. If we were to look at musical theatre as a genre, you could say that we fall into the ‘jukebox musical’ category which is a musical that uses existing songs to create a new story, for example, ‘Mama Mia’ or ‘Rock of Ages’. However, your general theatre-going public doesn’t know of the sub genres and can tend to be put off by the term ‘musical theatre’.
So what about ‘cabaret’?
From the beginning of the process, we shied away from calling it a ‘cabaret’ as we feel that that term also carries a stigma. For most people, sequins, feathers and Liza Minelli are the first thing that comes to mind when you mention that you are doing a cabaret and that cannot be further away from what we are and what cabaret can be.
The main point that we are trying to demonstrate is that music can be a storytelling device and holds a valid place as an artform outside of a big scale musical or a sultry jazz solo.
Finally, what is your favourite hangover inducing beverage?
I can’t go past a good Pinot Gris. Or five…
Book your tickets to Hungover here.
Follow more of Jontys work here