Saucy musical fun – Miss Nightingale

Photo above by Robert Workman

Matthew Bugg’s wartime musical Miss Nightingale is a musical play that is set in London, 1942.  The whole set which never changes is set up as an underground cabaret club that is up and running during the war-torn city with bombs being dropped in and around London and with many blackouts. Theatre was a very important part of London life during the war as a way to escape.

A nurse called Maggie Brown (played by Tamar Broadbent) is enrolled as the new saucy singer for the underground club with her stage name being Miss Nightingale.  She is in a relationship with Tom Fuller (played by Niall Kerrigan) who gets her the job at the club. However this relationship does not last that long. The boss of the club is Sir Frank Worthington-Blythe (played by Nicholas Coutu-Langmead). Sir Frank gets into a relationship with Jurek ‘George’ Nowodny (played by Conor O’Kane) who Maggie house shares with as is her dead brothers Portuguese friend and she took pity on him.  Maggie’s boss Sir Frank forms two different kinds of relationships. One with George which Sir Frank struggles to bring their love out of the shadows due to how people felt about homosexuality back in that era and with his reputation Sir Frank also formed another type of relationship with Maggie to keep his relationship hidden from the papers with which he has with George his true love.  There is so many twists, turns, blackmail, laughs, sauciness, singing and surprises that happen during this musical bonanza that lasts 2 hours 30 minutes it most definitely is one that is not to be missed.

The story and the singing from all the cast is spectacular certainly does keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.  Many of the songs are very tongue in cheek and saucy like the songs “Got to get your sausage where you can” and “The pussy song” etc.  I especially was blown away when all three main performers sung together singing something different but in the same sort of context and same emotional feelings.  This is most definitely a unique type of play set around one set that never changes but the acting and the singing is so superb that no set change does not matter. 

Plus the music and the vast array of musical instruments that are played throughout the play was outstanding from Maggie (Tamar) who plays the Piano at times, Frank (Nicholas) who plays a vast number of different instruments from the violin to ukulele, George (Conor) who plays the piano at times, Tom (Niall) who plays at times the drums and percussion, Harry (Matthew Bugg) who plays various instruments form the Sax to the accordion and lastly Clifford (Tobias Oliver) who plays the double bass.

If you love musicals, love cabaret, loves twists, love sauciness then I highly recommend seeing this play as it is such a blast!

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