Urinetown The Musical, winner of three Tony awards including Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical, is Spare Room Theatre’s next exciting production.
The story is set in the not-so-distant future where a terrible water shortage and 20-year drought has led to a government ban on private toilets and a proliferation of paid public toilets, owned and operated by a single megalomaniac company: the Urine Good Company. If the poor don’t obey the strict rules prohibiting free urination, they’ll be sent to the dreaded and mysterious “Urinetown”. After too long under the heel of the malevolent Caldwell B.
Cladwell, the poor stage a revolt, led by a brave young hero, fighting tooth and nail for the freedom to pee “wherever you like, whenever you like, for as long as you like and with whomever you like.” A brilliant satire modelled off the plays of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, Urinetown is a wickedly funny, fast-paced, and surprisingly intelligent comedic romp.
Music by Mark Hollman, lyrics by Hollman and Greg Kotis who had the idea for Urinetown while travelling in Europe.
A student on a budget, he encountered a pay-per-use toilet, and began writing shortly thereafter. The original production opened on Broadway September 2001.
Spare Room is a local theatre company that does not shy away from new and interesting work and have performed in and around Bath for the last 3 years. Previous productions have included a sell-out week at The Rondo of the musical version of Spring Awakening and the little known but hilarious show Gutenberg! The Musical! Last year they joined forces with Exit Stage Left to bring you a concert of musical theatre songs titled ‘Heart and Music’ also at the Rondo.
Urinetown is Spare Room’s biggest undertaking yet. They have moved to the Kingswood Theatre to accommodate their vision of this musical.
“We love working at the Rondo but when we were lucky enough to obtain the rights to stage Urinetown we needed a bigger space to do it justice. Plus with a cast of 22 and a small orchestra we needed somewhere to fit everyone in!”
says Andrew English, producer.
Spare Room have been lucky to acquire many local performers to take part in this production along with some new faces. Steve Huggins who has performed with many local theatre groups will be playing the villainous Caldwell B. Cladwell, while his daughter Hope is played by Hannah Long who played Penny Pingleton in BODS’ production of Hairspray at the Theatre Royal Bath last year. A new face to the Bath theatre scene is Matt Graham who has the lead role of Bobby Strong. Although many theatre goers in the Frome area will recognise him from playing Princeton in Avenue Q or the director in a Chorus Line.
The cast will be accompanied by accomplished musical director, Harry Burt, who has quickly made a name for himself in the region.
Director, James Moore, says:
“We are so lucky to have such a talented cast and crew involved in this production. One member is performing in BODS production of West Side Story the week before. Their talent and dedication is second to none. We pride ourselves on putting on new and exciting work at affordable prices that other companies in the area might consider a bit of a gamble. The title of the show itself might be a barrier for some but that’s part of the show’s charm. It’s so exciting to be one of the first groups in the South West to perform this show I can assure you that the audience will be in for a real treat”.
Urinetown can be seen at the Kingswood Theatre, Kingswood School, Lansdown Road, from 30th March to 2nd April at 7:30pm.
Tickets are £12 adults and £10 concessions and can be bought online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/spareroomtheatre
Photos by Ken Abbott.