The Toxic Avenger was originally released as a film in the early 80’s. It took a while for the public to catch on, and when they did, The Toxic Avenger became a cult classic. Various formats of the originally film were tried and tested, and The Toxic Avenger was made in to a cartoon, and had several sequels. It now finds itself in the shape of a musical, currently showing at The Arts Theatre. Set in New Jersey, the musical makes you feel like you’re watching the show on Broadway. It isn’t too often that you hear an all-American accent in the West-End, and with the New York/New Jersey background, I was transported there, if only for a few hours.
Melvin Ferd is the stereotypical thin, geeky, young American, with dorky black-rimmed glasses and buck teeth. His life is transformed when he finds himself dipped in to a pot of toxic waste, and the chemicals transform him in to a sort of Goonie-Hulk hybrid. Tall, muscly, green, he is a superhuman machine, and twice the size that he was previously. There is very much a Halloween feel to the set, with its black and green theme and the musical follows his somewhat hilarious adventures around the town of Tromaville.
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The extraordinarily talented cast dip and dive in between several different characters, and they are outrageously hilarious. Just when I started to think that perhaps this was best suited to children, out comes some adult innuendo and laugh out loud smut. The show took me on a journey of being in a show that is something of a mix of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Beauty and the Beast, a British Pantomime and a Lady Gaga concert. There are a lot of stand-out performances throughout the musical, but to point them out, would perhaps ruin it for those that are planning to see it. The songs, are camp, fun, and very over the top, and they also poke fun at themselves. I really enjoyed their performances, and the live band were full of energy too.
Silly, edgy, slapstick, hilarious, outrageous and sweet, this is a feel-good musical with a cherry on top. Perfect for the autumn, in time for Halloween, and to be enjoyed by all that like a lot of snowball of silliness and laughter.
Cast: Mark Conlon-Morrey, Natalie Hope, Mark Anderson, Emma Salvo, Peter Bindloss, Sophia Lewis Writer: Joe DiPietro and David Bryan Theatre: The Arts Theatre Duration: 2 October – 3 December 2017.