“It’s like nothing in London right now” — why Teddy the Musical’s star is leading a London revivial

The leading man of 1950s musical ‘Teddy’ believes this show is what London wants and needs. 

‘Teddy the Musical’ is currently playing at The Vaults in Waterloo, which has become London’s home for immersive theatre and alternative arts.

The show sees two young music lovers taking to the streets of a bombed-out, post-blitz 1950s Elephant & Castle, to have one ultimate rock ‘n’ roll night out.

George Parker, who plays the titular role, said: “It’s literally pure entertainment, it’s like nothing in London right now.”

He added: “It’s hard not to get up to rock ‘n’ roll music, every night the show ends with people up on their feet.

“A big feature is that we want everyone to stay behind after the show and boogie and party and then go home and tell friends and get on social media.”

Teddy and Josie are brought together through their mutual love of rock ‘n’ roll and the show is about the coming of a new music era.

The show attracted great reviews having been revived from its 2015 production at the Southwark Playhouse and recently completed a three-month tour ahead of setting up at the Vaults.

George said: “On tour each venue posed a different challenge with each audience wanting something different.

“It seems like London was after one thing, which happens to be the essence of the show, a stripped back unapologetic piece of theatre.”

This rock ‘n’ roll musical reunites the creative team of award winner writer Tristan Bernays, director Eleanor Rhode and choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves.

The trio saw recent success with their hit production Boudica at The Globe and Frankenstein at The Watermill Theatre and Wilton’s Music Hall.

George said: “The way the creative team created this space means that as soon as you walk into it you are immediately transported to the 1950s.”

George said that with this revival there is a lot more dancing and a lot more musicthe set design has increased, the production overall has grown from the original.

With shows such as ‘Teddy’, ‘Bat Out of Hell’ and the mod musical ‘All or Nothing’, it appears that audiences want more than just your typical musical — they want a gig.

George said: “The great thing about art in general is that there is always room for newcomers.

“This [Teddy the Musical] isn’t so much a newcomer as it has similarities to other musicals and plays but it’s like taking an in your face play from the 1990’s and making into a nitty gritty in your face musical.”

When you hear the term ‘teddy boy’ you will think about the iconic hair quiff, long tailored jackets over shirts and skinny trousers but this show takes you there with the music and set, making it hard for you to be anywhere else but the 1950s.

The show starts with live music and at the end there’s are a series of songs when the audience are invited up.

George said that the band are just as big a part of the cast as the actors.

They come from acting backgrounds and each one has a character; the whole play is punctuated by the band playing these 50’s hits.

George said: “We have the nostalgia of songs such as Great Balls of Fire but the new stuff has been written in the idiom of the old.

“Dougal Irvin who did the music for the show would have gone down very well back in the day with the style of his writing.”

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