In a thrilling collision of horror, comedy, and music, the monster musical “Peculiar Things” has sent shockwaves through London’s West End as theatergoers flock to witness this monstrous spectacle. Produced by renowned director, Derek McAllister, “Peculiar Things” breathed new life into the classic monster tale by incorporating an electrifying score and ingenious production design.
As you step into the grand auditorium of The Strand Theatre, you are immediately transported to a parallel universe where the music creates a spine-tingling atmosphere, and larger-than-life creatures lurk around every corner. The brainchild of composer Hamilton Wright and playwright Sarah Berkeley, this monster musical has spectators on the edge of their seats.
“Peculiar Things” follows the story of Dr. Vincent Van Helsing (played by Tony award-winning actor Rupert Shaw), a once-prominent monster hunter struggling to restore his reputation after a tragic accident. Alongside aspiring journalist Sandra Darrow (rising star Sienna Evans), they navigate their way through 19th century London teeming with all manners of supernatural beings: vampires, werewolves, gargoyles, and even Frankenstein’s monster himself (portrayed by theater veteran Daniel Smith).
The show expertly balances high-stakes action sequences with poignant moments that explore humanity’s darker side. In one particularly heartrending song titled “What Are We?”, each of the supernatural characters confronts their monstrosity while yearning for acceptance within society. Meanwhile, Dr. Van Helsing grapples with his own demons as he becomes increasingly aware that he shares more in common with these creatures than it appears.
The production design is particularly striking; set designer Elizabeth Warwick employs Victorian era-inspired steampunk designs to bring the otherworldly setting to life. From foggy streets illuminated by gaslight to dark alleyways adorned with mechanical contraptions and hidden clocks that keep time to phantom rhythms – no detail is spared in creating this immersive alternate reality on stage.
It is not just the eye-catching visuals that hold audiences captive; Samuel Gilbert’s dazzling choreography showcases stunning athleticism and synchronicity in dance numbers that leave audiences breathless. Of note is the spectacular fight scene between werewolves and vampires as they elegantly leap and tumble across stage in a fast-paced battle royale.
No musical would be complete without mesmerizing songs to capture spectators’ hearts – Wright’s compositions do not disappoint. From rousing ensemble melodies like “Welcome To The Freak Show” to tender ballads such as “Once Upon A Nightmare,” this hauntingly beautiful score lingers in audiences’ memories long after leaving the theater.
With over 100 artists involved in various aspects of production, it’s evident how much passion and dedication went into bringing this monstrous vision into reality. Critics have praised its attention to detail and powerful performances, lauding it as a piece that revolutionizes musical theater while remaining true to its roots.
“Peculiar Things” premiered earlier this month and due to overwhelmingly positive reception, extended its showing at The Strand Theatre until December 2021 with plans for an international tour soon after. Don’t miss your chance to witness this monster musical taking the West End by storm!