1. Choreography! I am a self-confessed Andrew Wright devotee, so realistically I would have said it was good if he'd told them to stand still for the whole show, but I promise it actually was amazing! The use of the revolve stage (I'll come to this later!) which realistically is a very small space to choreograph for, was brilliant, and made it so much more interactive and fun to watch. We all know I love a bit of tap, and there was enough in this to make me happy! Love, love, love.
2. Cast! I genuinely don't think the casting (by Will Burton) could have been any more perfect. Considering it's a very full on show, with the 6 cast members only leaving the stage a couple of times for a couple of minutes, they retained an insane amount of energy and life right until the very end. ALL of their dancing was stunning to watch and it was clear to see that they really gelled to make a strong, lively show.
3. Staging! I adore anything with a funky stage (I define anything other than a standard proscenium stage as 'funky') but this was particularly cool staging. The Marble Arch Theatre has been purpose built for Five Guys Named Moe, with a moving onstage platform for the orchestra, a moving revolve that surrounds the central cabaret seating, and simple but effective set pieces such as old-fashioned lamp posts placed around the edges of the revolve. The whole idea of the revolve coming out into the audience is absolute genius because it made a show which really draws on audience participation even more audience-orientated, and 100 times more fun to watch.
4. Costumes! This show could have been 5 men in black suits and one man in a scruffy shirt and jeans, and it would have looked fine, but the fun, colourful costumes (designed by the award winning 'takis', who also designed the gorgeous staging mentioned above!) Each Moe had a colour, and everything was coordinated, including (at some points) their tap shoes!
5. Audience participation! I mentioned above that this show heavily relies on audience participation (which I usually hate with a burning passion!) but I think with a show as bright and fun as Five Guys Named Moe, they managed to really cleverly build up the temptation to get up and join in right up until the end of act one, when they persuaded everyone to join a conga line out to the bar in Push Ka Pi Shee Pie! So so so clever, and it made the show so much more interactive and fun!
Just out of curiousity, I ran this post through word counting system to see what my most used words were - and aside from things like 'theatre', and 'show', my most used word was 'fun' - in fact, my most used adjective overall was 'fun' - I think that tells you all you need to know!
Five Guys Named Moe is currently playing at the Marble Arch Theatre, and is booking until November 2017.
Photos by Helen Maybanks