Adam & Eve and Steve
New musical packs a few cheeky chuckles from a promising premise but ultimately disappoints
Adam & Eve and Steve begins on the sixth day, when God populates his freshly crafted paradise with two new lifeforms, created in his own image. Or that is His plan, were it not for the frequent interventions of a show-boating song-and-dance Beelzebub, whose mischievous meddling drops Steve into the middle of God's plan for humanity, thereby substituting the ideal of a harmonious couple with that of a bickering love triangle.
Beelzebub warns the audience in song that the show belongs to him, with the titular characters mere supporting players. This is compounded when the songs from Adam, Eve and Steve which, despite being performed capably, exhibit too little variation to convey the twists and turns of the characters' relationships with each other and their new found world.
Over the course of the eighty minutes, scenes become increasingly reliant on the intervention of its divine characters and scatter-shot comedy: from a resurrection of Catherine Tate's 'Am I bovvered?', and a well-trafficked riff on shopping in Ikea, to out-of-the-blue references to Bruce Forsyth.
This new musical from writer Chandler Warren and composer Wayne Moore wears its musical theatre influences on its sleeve, from side-swipes at Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats and Stephen Sondheim's Company to a Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly homage. The show is not without its moments of cheeky fun, from the satisfaction of a well-timed musical punchline with the double-entendre laden 'We're a pair of homosssssssssapiens', as well as the The Rocky Horror Picture Show inspired bursts of charged eroticism brought on by biting into an apple from the tree of (carnal) knowledge.
Ultimately, the show fails to deliver the subversive pleasure promised by the title's playful reworking of the homophobic maxim of 'Adam & Eve not Adam & Steve' as well as the inherent potential for sacrilegious chuckles. A more progressive viewpoint of human sexuality is glimpsed, but in each instance is quickly followed by a retreat into the well-trodden divisions of butch and camp.
C, until 29 Aug , 5:45pm, £12.50–£13.50 (£10.50–£11.50).