Live Review: Naked Boys Singing

naked boys singing indexThe Eagle, Vauxhall, London.

So once again we’re back at The Eagle in Vauxhall, which right now appears to be the home of outdoor musical theatre in London. Despite the cold weather the show went on too, thanks to the very large tent the actors performed under and some recently installed heating, though I still felt a lot of sympathy for the cast due to the fact that most of the time they’re either completely naked or wearing very little.

Because Naked Boys Singing does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s six naked men bursting in to song, and though occasionally some numbers see them wearing outfits it’s rare that they’re still on by the end of the track, or that they haven’t been sans clothes at some point or another. There’s no narrative to the piece either, just fifteen songs which are a mixture of solo and group efforts, accompanied by a skilled pianist.

The songs themselves are largely humourous efforts, which explore the nature of masculinity, sexuality, nudity and love, with the show opening with “Gratuitous Nudity”, which essentially sets up the concept of the night and sees the men celebrate the idea of being unclothed and fancy free. Oddly the second number, The Naked Maid, is quite a poor one with twee lyrics that are just a bit naff, but thankfully it’s the only mis-step of the night, yes, the songs vary in quality but this is the only one that I’d say is actively disappointing.

Over the course of the rest of the show there’s a very funny take on circumcision, the horrors of getting an erection in a gym changing room, the joys of masturbation, what it’s like to be a porn star when you’re from a small American town, how one person longs for the days where Robert Mitchum was considered a sex icon, and an insight in to the life of an entertainer, all of which contain some very funny lyrics, and are performed with aplomb.

Though the vast majority are humourous there’s even time for a very sweet effort about unrequited love in Window To Window that is so strong that I found myself wishing there had been a couple more serious efforts, but alas it’s not to be. Other than that I’ve no complaints, this is an extremely fun celebration of nudity and maleness, one which never feels explicit and is carefully tongue in cheek rather than tacky or rude, and which is performed by a superb and very game cast.

★★★3/4

Alex Finch.
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Further information and tickets can be found here.

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