LIFT: Southwark Playhouse, London
13th May 2022 (preview performance)
Featuring a fantastic cast, this updated and reimagined version of Craig Adams and Ian Watson’s 2013 musical, LIFT is currently playing at the Southwark Playhouse.
The set, designed by Andrew Exeter, is contemporary and colourful. With an industrial feel the cleverly lighting is very modern. However the moving mechanism that creates the lift several times throughout the show appeared quite precarious at times and perhaps unnecessary. LIFT is played in the round and the sight lines have clearly been thought through with clear direction from Dean Johnson. The characters are believable and their interactions feel honest.
All of the seven cast members are extremely talented and take their own centre stage at different points throughout the show. The busker, played by Luke Friend, is on stage almost all of the time with the other characters coming and going from the stage throughout the show. This was one of Craig Adams and Ian Watson’s first productions and as a result they are very clear that they don’t want to explain the story completely, leaving it up to the audience to work out the plot. However, due to the audience knowing so little about the main character it is still quite complex and at times very confusing. It is only upon reading the programme that the storyline and characters make more sense. Each character is played well by the actor but at times it is hard to see how they are linked or related to both each other and to the central character, the Busker.
One of the highlights of the show is Kayleigh McKnight singing ‘Lost in Translation’. Bringing a comedy element to the show Chrissie Bhima and Jordan Broatch are hilarious as the ‘avatars’. One of the most honest and moving pairs of relationships in the show is between Tamara Morgan and Jordan Broatch with both actors wearing their hearts on their sleeves in a story line which no doubt many will sympathise with.
There is no question that the score is excellent, the actors are fantastic and the lighting works well within the small theatre. However, LIFT’s storyline is underdeveloped and confusing which results in the audience lacking empathy for the characters.
LIFT is playing at the Southwark Playhouse until the 18th June 2022. For tickets click here.
Photo Credit: Mark Senior