Bed: The Musical
Tim Anfilogoff & Alan Whittaker
Gilded Balloon Teviot
It’s funny how the humble home’s bedroom plays such a focal point in so much of a family’s life. Aside from countless hours spent unconscious in the warm cocoon of blankets and pillows, it also finds so many of life’s more special moments: the den of new lovers, the sanctuary of the ill and the staging space for arguments, reconciliations and the comforting of sleepless children.
Bed finds Ben and Alice, a newlywed couple, embarking on their life together, enjoying their brand new luxury divan. The story then follows them on a musical journey through 20 years of their lives together using the bed as a central conceit, and a motif, to chart their ups and downs, triumphs and failures.
It’s in some ways a predictable affair. Bed isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, and the smarter among the audience will likely have foreseen the ending, as well as many of the moments along the way, long before the final bows. There’s also a lot of cliché in the portrayal of the couple. The hard-working career woman and the layabout man who can’t even turn on a washing machine feels like a throwback to last century.
But it’s far from a deal-breaker, as the songs are brilliantly performed and catchy, while Madeleine MacMahon and Drew Elston are both endearingly charismatic as the loving couple. There’s also quite a bit of comedy here, offset with moments of genuine poignancy. It’s a perfectly solid and enjoyable musical abounding laughs and tears, which certainly won’t send you off to sleep.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan