Following a successful and also sold-out European premiere at the Union Theatre earlier this year, Bare the Musical returned with a transfer to the Greenwich Theatre for a limited run just shy of a month.
Previous to seeing the show I’d heard a lot of fantastic things about Bare, from friends who had seen it at the Union and from those who had seen it since the transfer, so I was looking forward to seeing it for myself.
Immediately walking into the auditorium I was impressed by the props already on display and the lighting design used on the open set, the show feeling like a strikingly modern piece before even beginning.
Granted I didn’t know much of the narrative before the show began, but regardless I was quickly drawn in to the world of St. Cecilia’s Boarding School and the struggles of the students it held.
In a very quick summary, Bare tells the story of two boys in love while attending a private Catholic School and how those surrounding them become involved with the relationship.
The cast of this show were incredibly refreshing, and what I really enjoyed was feeling like the audience got to know a lot about all the principle characters – especially as they all seemed to receive at least one solo number within the show. Leading the show as Peter and Jason I saw Michael Vinsen and understudy Ashley Gilmour who I thought were absolutely brilliant, such strong voices as well as playing their roles so wholeheartedly.
Someone else who shone in the show for me was Molly Stewart playing Nadia, Jason’s sister, who brought a lot of the comedy relief to the show which was needed amongst the darkness also shown.
The themes presented were incredibly relatable, which is what I think makes the show so successful, along with the raw way in which they are translated to audiences. Many people were crying throughout the show especially during scenes such as Peter trying to tell his mother on the phone that he was gay, her words after the phone call seemed to create a very strong impact with some audience members. This realism is crucial I think, some believe that for a show to be successful it needs to transport the audience to another world almost, but Bare goes against this and just strips it all back to reality, showcasing love in homosexual and heterosexual relationships, the confusion that comes with any relationship and the issues that can be raised within them.
I truly enjoyed this show, the narrative was very intriguing and the cast pulled it all together seamlessly with their strong believable acting and stunning voices, so I’d recommend that those who can go and see this show before it closes this Sunday, don’t miss out!