Mr Swallow - The Musical

comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 06 Aug 2014

This irrepressible creation of Nick Mohammed usually appears in the guise of an unhelpful life coach, but here we find him having come to terms with his calling as an entertainer. He’s decided on a new musical adaptation of Dracula as a vehicle for his talents anbelad assembled a team comprising versatile musicians and first-time actors to help pull it off. All acquit themselves admirably, and do such a good job on the opening number that one may well wonder where the laughs are going to come from.

The brilliance of Mr Swallow – The Musical is that it works hard to establish a sense of resourceful professionalism, purely so it can then be undercut by the title character’s obnoxious behaviour and petty grievances. The production, of which it turns out we’re watching a dress rehearsal, could work as a straight piece if only Swallow would genuflect to his director’s vision.

Instead, he saunters about like Bela Lugosi playing a Butlins Redcoat, tormenting and humiliating everyone who crosses his path. Exuding the entitled air of a spoiled child, only he is impervious to shame. This may be extremely broad humour for the most part, but it’s a joy to watch his accomplices lose their composure when faced with the star's petty tyranny. In fact, it’s the thwarted gravitas of business partner David Elms that pushes this debacle into firm must-see territory.