MUSICAL REVIEW: The Green Fairy ★★★★

 The Green Fairy
The Union Theatre, London
Wednesday 30th October - Saturday 23rd November 2019

The Green Fairy starts and finishes in a way that comes full circle, a thing so rarely seen in musicals these days, with loose ends tied up and a satisfying conclusion. Along the way, we are thrown back in time to delve into the past of Jo (Julie Atherton), an estranged and often drunk mother to Wendy (Emma Kinney), who works at The Green Fairy pub alongside Toby (Harry F. Brown) and two regulars in the form of Emma Whittaker and David Perkins, who mostly multirole throughout, bring Jo's backstory to life.

We are thrown straight into the score of this musical within minutes, as forth wall breaking material invites us to be apart of a karaoke night with Wendy taking the mic, and where Jo is introduced. It's clear their relationship is frosty, and whilst crashing for the night and sneaking behind the bar to have a glass of the titular drink, suddenly from inside the structure Georgina Hellier springs to life as The Green Fairy, who can only be described as Tinkerbell meets Puck, in a role that showcases a surge of talent from a rising star.

As we gallop through at thundering pace of what brought Jo back to the pub this particular night through a series of flashbacks told from the ensemble portraying past encounters, Stephen Libby and Jack Sain provide substantial and resonating songs which help power through the relationships on stage with blinding efforts; Dirty Dancing, Animals, and Dark Paradise are just a few that truly stood out, with a whole multitude more that will have you captivated into the story, with Alex Lewer's vibrant lighting design helping to create a whole new level of lighting through song that will leave you teary eyed in the most unexpected moments.

Whilst the music and performances certainly adhere to the flow of Sain's Book, the same cannot be said for some of the chemistry; at times it's really hard to feel any emotional grab between the mother and daughter in which the whole story centres upon; Kinney rarely gets moments to shine as Wendy, only coming into focus to begin and end the production. Kinney throughout provides instrumental, but  with a little bit more of present day performance interaction between the pair being ideal, this would of helped elevate the pairs connection which otherwise feels forced nearing the climax of the production; It's a small detail but something that leaves you just wanting a little bit more to cement their troubled relationship.

Overall, The Green Fairy feels like a hidden gem, tucked away for only the eyes of few to see, with an intimate pub which leads you through to our evenings entertainment. Through tight collaboration between departments, you will find moments of heartfelt ache and joy in a story that will lift you out of current affairs and into a magical world of beautiful hysteria and a glowing score.


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