The plucky lads and lasses of Fly Theatre are presenting two back-to-back musicals, at The Bridewell Theatre, from tonight. And it's one cast, one orchestra across both shows, performed one after the other on the same night. Brave, bold and bloody amazing to even try it. And the musicals sound quite good too...
Clouds is one of the two musicals per night, based on the Aristophanes satire from about 2,500 years ago. The playboy son embroils his idiot bumpkin father in debt and only Socrates the philosopher can help. So, that's ancient bawdy, raunchy, ridiculous Greek comedy via the philosophers... in song.
Reefer Madness is the second of the musicals and is the UK premiere of this satire on the 1930s propaganda movie, Reefer Madness. Fresh-faced American school boy Jimmy Harper is plunged into the murky world of sweet Mary Jane and goes on a voyage of discovery, meeting George Washington, Lady Libery and Jesus as he gets high and sings and dances with the finest in American history.
And ticket holders can stay on after the double bill for free events - check the programme for details. A quick summary look shows that if you pick carefully, you can stay on for talks on Aristophanic comedy, philosophy, science and ancient comedy in the original Clouds, what music and voice was like in Greek theatre, and the history of cannabis propaganda with guest speaker Ben Goldacre.
In this credit crunch and penny pinching era, that's definitely a bargain bucket of musical enlightenment not to be missed.
Clouds and Reefer Madness at The Bridewell Theatre, tonight until 28 March. For more information, go to the Fly Theatre website.