Casting has been announced today for Closer To Heaven, a musical by the Pet Shop Boys and Jonathan Harvey which is returning to the Union Theatre from October 21 to Saturday 28 November 2015 following a sell-out run earlier this year. (Read our review) Set against the backdrop of Soho’s pulsing clubland, Closer to Heaven tells the story of Dave, just off the boat from Ireland and determined to make something of himself. He is offered a bar job at a glitzy London nightclub, where he quickly becomes part of an unconventional family including Billie Trix, a fading rock star of the sixties and mother figure to the club’s habitués – Vic, the club’s owner and a middle-aged gay father and his daughter Shell, who Dave sparks an immediate connection with. But will Dave truly discover himself in London, or will he fall into a labyrinth of excess, false agendas … Read more
The future of British musicals seems assured. It’s wonderful to see a musical that eschews a jukebox or movie mentality and goes instead for an original story. If you are a fan of musicals like Next To Normal, then The House Of Mirrors and Hearts is going to appeal. It’s a dark, psychological and kept suprising me throughout.
What is most admirable about Gary Lloyd’s directorial vision here is that no attempt is made to recreate the film, the book or even the way this musical has been produced before. He does not seek to make a musical horror story – rather, he makes a dramatic musical which has horrific elements. Kim Criswell is magnificent as Carrie’s mother. Her voice is in remarkable form and she sings the difficult score with bravura ease.
Of course, the show has no hope without a tremendous Carrie and in Evelyn Hoskins, Lloyd has a true star. Hoskins is perfect.