Despite this, Wellington Footlights makes the best of the show, and it’s clear that the performers are all having fun on stage. Aoife Walsh and Aimée Sullivan give stand-out performances as Velcro and the Narrator, and Michael Stebbings as James Prince takes the prize for his stellar vocals. Unfortunately, great lines and solos are let down throughout the show by poor sound operation, as microphones are regularly turned off or turned up far too loud and are adjusted quite obviously midway through lines. Hopefully this will improve as the season goes on.
The band and the booth singers are a particular highlight for me and lift the show significantly with their combined talent. The costume design is strong, with the Narrator’s punk-rock costume being a definite win. I can’t say I’m wowed by the set and lighting, but they are simple and effective and let the performers hold the focus, which is nice. It also should be said that the cast and crew do well with some of the more outlandish set and prop requirements of the script, such as wheeling actual washing machines on and off stage and expertly navigating a full-size rickshaw bike.
I would also like to commend Wellington Footlights for supporting LGBTQIA+ charity InsideOUT with 10 percent of their ticket revenue. Very cool.
Soho Cinders is showing at Te Auaha in Tapere Nui until Saturday 5 February at 7:30pm. For more information or to book tickets, visit the Wellington Footlights website.