Loft Theatre Press Images
Loft Theatre Press Images

The World Goes Around: an enchanting night at the Loft Theatre

The World Goes ‘Round at the Loft Theatre is an exuberant revue about the joie de vivre of life. There was not a moment of monotony as the entire cast, consisting of Martha Allen-Smith, Kim Arnold, Chris Gilbey-Smith, Ben Munday and Val Whitlock, performed with gusto. Conceptualised by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman, and David Thompson, The World Goes ‘Round takes Kander and Ebb’s original music and meshes it into a fiesta of fun, funny, funky and forlorn numbers.

The number reminded me of the chaotic atmosphere of trying to grab a coffee at Pret on campus

The Loft Theatre, which is tucked behind The Terrace on the Victoria Colonnade in Royal Leamington Spa, provides a cosy setting for production. The revue opens with an enrapturing performance of ‘The World Goes ‘Round’ by Val Whitlock, which sets the scene for the rest of the production. The cast in the dialogue-less narrative manage to capture the tumultuous vagaries of human emotions effortlessly. The juxtaposition of merry and melancholy numbers keeps the audience entertained and on the edges of their seats.

My personal favourite song during the first act was ‘Coffee in a Cardboard Cup’. The number reminded me of the chaotic atmosphere of trying to grab a coffee at Pret on campus. It was a reminder of how the joy of small things in life fades into the hustle and bustle of every day. Martha Allen-Smith stole the show with her moves during the rendition of ‘All That Jazz’. Another notable highlight of the first act was Chris Gilbey-Smith’s strong performance of ‘Mr. Cellophane’. It recreated the existential dread of feeling isolated and undistinguished in today’s hyper-competitive world, where we all supposedly have an attention span smaller than that of a goldfish.

‘The Rink’ was a fitting end to the first act of the performance, with the actors skating around in circles in a production that depicts the circularity of life. The audience giggled with glee as the cast sped away on their skates. The clever choreography by Hannah Hampson seemed to have considered the skating abilities of the cast. The second act built on the first to give the audience multiple occasions to introspect and laugh out loud. The lineup of songs, including ‘Ring Them Bells’, ‘Only Love’, ‘Marry Me’ and ‘A Quiet Thing’ weaves a narrative about the trials and tribulations of love. It portrays finding love in unexpected places; the difficulty in recognising different forms of love, and the reconciliation between loved ones. ‘Pain’ provides a gleeful break between the reverie about love. Hampson’s choreography shines again in this song about the pain behind the seemingly effortless dancing. Whitlock and Kim Arnold’s performance of ‘The Grass is Always Greener’ was particularly funny. It laid bare the culture of constant comparison that is commonplace today.

The orchestra provided scintillating support without missing a beat


The numbers from the ‘And the World Goes ‘Round – Reprise’ to ‘Isn’t This Better’ centred on the exploration of love. The po formance ended with some of Kander and Ebb’s most popular numbers from ‘Caba- ret’ to ‘New York, New York’. The orchestra provided scintillating support without missing a beat throughout the production. I had the opportunity to chat with James Suckling, the director of the production and a Warwick alumnus. He explained how such productions are popular in the USA but are relatively new in the UK. His advice to young people trying to break into the creative industry was: “Make use of every opportunity you get to gain experience. You will get to meet people, which is important in the industry. Don’t be shy.” The production of The World Goes ‘Round at the Loft Theatre revitalises the original to create a joyful experience for both hardcore fans of musical theatre and newbies to the genre.


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