Southwark Playhouse, London
Reviewed by Jade Prince and Katie Middlebrook
Seen July 5th, 2019
This review will be slightly different to our usual. Creator, Jade, and reviewer, Katie, are teaming up to share their love for Fiver. Having both seen the show, so many similar thoughts and opinions were shared. There’s just gonna be double the love!
Fivers, something we take for granted but are rarely seen nowadays due to societies preference of contactless payment. Exchanging hundreds of thousands of hands in its lifetime yet so easily forgotten the moment it leaves your fingertips. Have you ever paused after a transaction to think about that fiver and the journey its about to embark on?
For two hours you will bear witness to roughly half a dozen intertwining stories and how the same fiver touched their lives individually.
Straight away, we need to express our need for a cast recording! Very rarely you find a show where each next song becomes your new favourite. It is typical for the odd song or two to fall short however this is not the case for the score of Fiver. Every song can hold its own. It was refreshing to hear so many genres of music in one musical. This aspect kept the audience engaged and excited with anticipation for what was to come next. Lyrically, the score was stunning. This ranged from the comedy sprinkled throughout to the deeper meaning behind the lyrics. There were also so many which the audience could relate to on a personal level. It is safe to say that Alex James Ellison and Tom Lees have very brights futures ahead of them not just with this show but with future creations.
The concept of the show was wonderful. It is a very simple concept however didn’t just glide over the surface, it delved deep into realistic personal stories. It wasn’t the generic run of the mill story which it could have been. You could see the amount of time and effort and creative skill which has been pumped into the story. This really resinated with the audience through its relatable nature. It should also be noted that at no point did the story feel predictable.
With shows that follow numerous intertwining stories, there is always the risk that the audience will be lost along the way. With Fiver, there was a seamless connection between each story and character. This was helped as the audience were guided through by Alex James Ellison who took the role of the ‘narrator’. His warm, welcoming personality immediately drew the audience in.
From the get go, it was evident that the fourth wall would not make an appearance. With the show having an intimate story line the removal of the fourth wall really added to the audience’s experience and allowed them to embark on a rollercoaster of emotion.
Although some sombre story lines were looked at in act 1, the perfectly crafted comedy which built throughout act 2 really made this a heartwarming show. One notable scene was the proposal preparation and the joy brought to the stage by Luke Bayer and Aoife Clesham as they portrayed cheeky youngsters.
The final point to make is the way the score so beautifully allowed each cast member to demonstrate their vocal range individually but also to provide glorious harmonies throughout.
This is a well rounded, heartwarming show which is perfectly executed. The foundations have been set for Fiver to achieve big things. We cannot wait to see this shows development and will be there every step of the way.
Fiver is showing at the Southwark Playhouse until 20th July 2019 and trust when we say this is not one you want to miss. More information about the show and tickets can be found here.