Closer To Heaven

Are you ready to be transported back to the 80’s with this synth-pop musical featuring a score written by the iconic duo Pet Shop Boys?. The Turbine Theatre provides the perfect venue for this camp and outrageous musical.

Shell (Courtney Bowman) receives a letter from her dad (Kurt Kansley) who struggled with his sexuality and consequently abandoned her as a child.  Set around his seedy night club, we enter into a sex, drugs and booze frenzy that attracts ‘straight Dave’ (Glenn Adamson) wanting to further his career in the music industry and it’s not long before he is caught up in a love triangle with Shell and bad boy drug dealer Lee (Conor Carson). Can Dave resist the temptation, or will he sell his soul for the contract of a life time?.

I love the set up of this venue.  The cat walk stage allowed for some cabaret style tables down the sides which adds to the night club set up and puts you amongst the action. The set itself is fun, with a stair case pushing through different layers of brick work into the club and neon strip lighting, stripper pole and disco balls scream late night party. 

Frances Ruffelle, who has top billing, plays cabaret host Billie Trix.  She plays the party girl very well and it’s nice to see she doesn’t take herself too seriously in this role as she commands the stage. There is great chemistry between the leads Courtney Bowman (Shell), Glenn Adamson (Dave) and Connor Carson (Lee).  The three end up in a messy love triangle as Dave comes to terms with his sexuality. I must say it’s a very talented cast with some strong vocals. 

Act 1 is very dramatic but feels quite one dimensional whereas the drama and heart in Act 2 definitely raise the stakes.

The production features some semi nudity and raunchy encounters, keeping its target audience happy. David Muscat who plays Bob Saunders, and his side kick Lewis James (Flynn) have some cracking one liners. 

The lighting is great with strobe lights, spot lights and plenty of disco balls. The ensemble bouncing around in some very sexy but saucy outfits helps to keep the story moving forward and the energy is brought to the stage from the very beginning.

Closer To Heaven is everything you would expect a musical written by the Pet Shop Boys to be. Have a few drinks before you go and if you want to party like the 80’s, book your tickets now!. 

As long as you don’t go in expecting Shakespeare, the silly, cheesy soap opera-esque drama will definitely get you in the mood for a party.

This show was reviewed on the 4th June 2024 at The Turbine Theatre, London where it runs until the 30th June 2024.  Tickets available here: Closer to Heaven | The Turbine Theatre


Photo credit: Mark Senior

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