“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” was the perfect pick-me-up show – that is, if you like your theatre to be a camp, toe-tapping, thigh-slapping romp of a musical.
Luckily for me, that’s sometimes all I want from a performance, and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” did not disappoint. I arrived at the Royal feeling sluggish from a long day spent in the Hallward; I left in a whirl of (slightly annoying) energy, singing the songs loudly and proudly and feeling pretty high on life. That’s the great thing about musical theatre – if it’s good, it makes you feel good, and after this show I felt nothing short of great.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the plot, ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ is set in 1850’s Oregon, USA, and is the story of Milly (played by Susan McFadden), a sassy and opinionated lady from town, who marries Adam (Steven Houghton), a mountain man, who whisks her away to his log cabin in the mountains. The romantic life Milly imagines is soon brought to a halt when she finds out Adam has not one but six brothers living with him, all of whom she is expected to care for. Milly decides there’s nothing else she can do but find them all wives.
So there you go – simple plot, little thinking required. However, the show never tries to fool you in to thinking it is anything more than an enjoyable, high-energy love story, which is why it works so well for me. McFadden and Houghton have great voices, and bring the classics such as ‘Bless your Beautiful Hide’ and ‘Goin’ Courtin’’ to life – looking around the theatre there were smiles on everyone’s faces (with the exception of a few incredulous looking men, but it’s to be expected.)
Yet the real treat of the show was the choreography, which was nothing short of fabulous, considering the size of the costumes and the amount of people on stage at one time. It was a whirlwind of gingham dresses and bouncing ringlets, all swaying around to the sound of the banjo- what’s not to love?