Musicals: Love them or hate them, if you're anywhere near The West End you really can't avoid them. Usually, this particular Londonista is a bit sceptical about them. That was, until The Drowsy Chaperone came to town. At least it doesn't have talking bleedin' cats in it.
Yes, it's cheesy, it's a bit clichéd and it's very camp. And this is why it's so good. But this musical isn't overly over the top. It errs just on the right side of ridiculous. Oh, and the best part? It's short. (Just buy your beer before the curtain call.)
But what's it all about? Well, there's a fairly tenuous story - it is a musical after all - about a leading lady giving up the stage for the man she loves. The predictable high-jinx and hilarity ensue on the wedding day, and then there's a few songs thrown in and a bit of dancing.
Oh, and don't forget about Elaine Paige. Yes, she's turned up to draw in the crowds and she's very...Elaine Paige (if Elaine Paige is usually a roaring drunk woman in Ostrich feathers). She's a little bit grating in places, but she does what she's meant to do and then she's off to stage left to touch up the make-up.
Don't worry, she's very good, but she's not the star of the show. Bob Martin as the Man in Chair is the perfect narrator. He keeps this whole show together, makes it original and allows for so many comic moments we can't count. (The mock interval is genius!) Without Martin the whole show would have been just a little bit...well, like a musical.
So go along, especially all those sceptics amongst you. Go and take a look and enjoy being proved wrong about this fabulous show. You might even find yourself tapping your foot and wishing you could do high-kicks.
The Drowsy Chaperone is at The Novello Theatre.