After another reviewer at The Peg saw the previous instalment of Beach Comet’s irreverent B-musicals, Vampire Hospital Waiting Room, I was intrigued to see if their new offering would garner such a love-hate response.
Apocalypse Cruise Ship Love Affair is as ridiculous as its title suggests. Set on board Blues Cruise, the crew and passengers are on a course for an apocalyptic storm. Totally avoidable of course, but Captain Bleaufont has turned the ship into the eye of the storm in the hope of reuniting himself with the ghost of his long lost lover, Mandy.
Love triangles galore, the cruise ship rep, Hanks, loves the nun (who has inexplicably taken a holiday at sea), Hanks is loved by the lascivious OAP, Vera, who in turn is secretly loved by her oldest friend, Orde. Lots of silliness ensues but it all seems paltry in comparison to the unrequited love of the Captain’s Mate, Fittels, for the Captain himself. Hopelessly desperate in his dedication to the Captain, Fittels (played by Will Hearle) is a glutton for punishment from the sadistic Captain who is played wonderfully by Joe McArdle. Think flashes of Simon Pegg in Spaced and Hot Fuzz, he raises the performance value of the whole piece, and without the excellent interplay between McArdle and Hearle the show would just be frolicking silliness.
For this reason the piece seems a little imbalanced. Is it just me, or are the songs between McArdle and Hearle more imaginative in their composition and performance than some of the more routine numbers that punctuate the rest of the performance?
There is still a lot of fun to be had at this show, and the live musical accompaniment is great too, but consistency is key and I don’t think the ensemble, Beach Comet, are there yet with this particular show.
Apocalypse Cruise Ship Love Affair is on at the Gilded Balloon Teviot 8-14 and 16-29 and begins each day at 13:30.