Review: The Off Key, Golden Goose Theatre

Revamped and now featuring an interval, sparkling new musical The Off Key returns for a week at the Golden Goose Theatre

“If you love someone, do you need to know every-fucking-thing they think?” 

I really rather enjoyed new musical The Off Key when I saw its work-in-progress last year at the White Bear in one of the brief windows when theatre was allowed. So I was delighted to see it pop its head up again at another theatre that’s about 7 minutes walk from my flat, Camberwell’s Golden Goose Theatre. 

A scorchingly intimate and dryly funny two-hander, the show is a gig musical which follows budding singer/songwriters Sam and Liv and the imploding supernova that is the ill-fated relationship between them. As love curdles into something sour and personal demons come to the fore, their music can’t help but reflect it.

Writer, director and performer Scott Mackie has clearly put lockdown to good use as The Off Key has certainly matured well. Expanded to now include an interval (a novelty in these times!), it does a more effective job in balancing its narratives, the gorgeously voiced Molly Glynn-Whitehead making the most of the richer characterisation for Liv.

And musically it feels just as entertaining if not more so as it runs the gamut of the singer/songwriter genre from heartfelt tenderness to red-raw outrage. The duets remain my favourite moments, calling to mind Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan as much as The Civil Wars (fractious relationships all round!). Why not record the football (and/or tennis) and pop out and give this new show a try.

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (with interval)
The Off Key is booking at the Golden Goose Theatre until 3rd July

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