Tickle, is the new hit musical comedy that LAMBCO Production bestows upon us, the show is currently on at the Drayton Arms Theatre. This ‘Standing Ovation Award’ winning production certainly shows its success in quick, short bursts. 

The Tina Tickle Empire is on the lookout for some good-looking people to compete in the sport of endurance tickling. For an irresistible fee, and a summer different to any other, best of friends, Calum (Tommy Murray) and Chris (Keiran Constable) cannot resist. An unexpected job that uncovers secrets, scandals and something darker. 

Before entering the space we could hear the soundscape of cats meowing and dogs barking, and wondered if we were at the right show. An eerie green lighting washed the minimal set.

The show took us on a journey with all the theatrics of a high-quality, fully-fledged production. Including original music arrangements and lyrics by Chris Burgess accompanied with synchronised choreography from Robbie O’Reilly. Burgess’ book contains an unravelling story arc, but high quality lighting design by Richard Lambert, really sets the mood of the piece. 

Standing out from behind the curtain and running the “show” is the not so nefarious Tina Tickle (wonderfully played by the Dereck Walker), this character wants a world of tickling delight but also wants all the power. Walker is an entertainer that you cannot take your eyes off of,  with an illuminating stage presence and finessed vocals. Walker’s performance is slightly panto-esque, but in the best way possible – and they could have had the whole show to themselves. 

Murray and Constable are a harmoniously dynamic duo. Each playing their parts athletically, though we may have been shocked to see so much of them. It was clear they have a great deal of onstage chemistry and their confidence within the performance radiated.

Last, but by no means least, Davina Diamond played by Lucy Whitney was a strong tour de force all on her own! Operatic at times and fluid in both voice and movement. We really wish we had seen more of the character and wish to see Whitney bring her vocal talents to the big stage soon! 

As this show moved and tried to connect with us, the moments of good were felt and appreciated, but there were also moments in which the show unfortunately dragged. The cast brought their best and we’d love to see them in other unique pieces again. We feel that not every song needed to be sung, but the point had a mild purpose for a rounded off storyline so it was included. Unfortunately, Tickle lacked feeling at times and the comedic elements were few and far between, which we feel could have been played into so much more. A show full of moments of potential but lacked a yearning desire of connection. On paper everything was in this production, but it lacked the spark to ignite. Although the story hasn’t stuck with me, the talent of the cast has.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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