SLAM Theatre! An emerging, Oxford-based company have tried to create a deep and meaningful production with How To Use A Washing Machine but unfortunately they barely scratch the surface.
This new musical that depicts the harsh realities of being a grown up. It sucks doesn’t it. A nostalgic look back at their childhood hopes and dreams help them to come to terms with their parents divorce. It’s a very thin and underdeveloped storyline.
An unexpected score
It was really exciting to see a string quartet on stage. That was different. A surprise. They sounded great and added drama to the score but it didn’t quite match the premise of the show. It was too intense and dark. The songs seemed stressed and high pitched. It became a bit of an attack on the senses.
The music sounded like it was inspired by Sondheim. The likes of ‘Into The Woods’ and ‘Sweeney Todd’. They have very unusual sounds that are hard to imitate and this show proves that. Emelye Moulton was too delicate and Max Cadman had moments of power that should have been utilised further.
More of the play
The songs and vocals were poor but the actors performances in the drama was well done. I totally believed in their relationship – a love, hate, playful and argumentative duo. It was touching.
This young company need to ditch the tunes. If it became a better written play with live underscore – the show would have epic potential. That would be worth investing an hour in.
How To Use A Washing Machine needs to go back to the drawing board and work on fleshing out the drama. This isn’t made to be a Musical.