Exposure The Musical
The concept of fame can be a strange thing; it seems a lot of people in the world are miserable because they want to be famous, while a lot of people who actually are famous are still miserable anyway. Exposure The Musical – a new production at the St James’ Theatre – explores the concept of fame through a literal camera lens.
The play revolves around Jimmy (David Albury), a young but celebrated photojournalist who returns to London after shooting photos of tragedy in numerous disaster zones. He reconnects with an old school friend Pandora (Niamh Perry) who is now a famous – yet artistically stifled – pop star and agrees to take some photos of her as a favour. As a result of the shoot he catches the eye of socialite and shady businessman Miles Mason (Michael Greco) who offers him a bundle of cash to photograph the seven deadly sins on the streets of London. Initially torn between his artistic integrity and the money on offer, he eventually takes the job which sets the wheels of the story in motion as things inevitably go downhill. Along the way he meets homeless Irishwoman Tara (Natalie Anderson) who despite playing up a full “top o’ the mornin’ to ya” stereotype probably has the best song of the whole production.
On the subject of the songs, they are all really entertaining and there are excellently choreographed dance routines throughout. The production and stage design is also very interesting. The stage itself actually remains bare throughout the entire performance and actually becomes one giant screen for the audience as images are projected above, below and to either side of the actors. In a sense the entire stage becomes a giant photograph which is quite fitting considering the subject matter.
If I had any criticisms it would be that the pacing of the story seemed to be off slightly. The whole of the first act sets up the main plot of the play as we have a prologue involving Jimmy’s father and flashbacks to Jimmy’s schooldays, which means the entire meat of the story itself has to be crammed into the second act. We don’t really see the stakes for Jimmy grow slowly throughout the story – the climax of the play kind of jumps out of nowhere. That said it’s really the only complaint about a play which is otherwise highly enjoyable and fun to watch.
If you are in the mood to see something different then I can highly recommend this play for an enjoyable evening