"Punter likes football, Punter likes Pies, on the last game of the season, Punter dies..."
Some may call this musical about football a shameless cash-in on the world's greatest sporting event which is, of course, happening right now. Others may say that football and theatre should never mix and any fool that puts them together is making theatrical hemlock. With regards to the former point, they may well be right (and quite frankly, who cares? Football has long been about cashing in, something this show touches on well) but on the latter they'd be a long way from the mark...indeed with regards to this play, it would be a Geoff Thomas-esque spoon towards the corner flag.
I'll put my cards on the table and make it clear that I fucking hate musicals but along I went to see this show and I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
It is a short play, which is a blessing and if you can't say it in 90 minutes it just ain't worth saying and "Who Ate All The Pies?" is a brisk hour and fifteen that flashes by at a fine pace. Just like Arron Lennon...
The plot, quite frankly, doesn't matter but in a nutshell; it is built around a dysfunctional father and daughter relationship and a fictional football club that is pretty shite. That's it. But you shouldn't really be here for the plot but rather the big laughs that the lyrics, dialogue and performances demand.
It being a musical and all, people break out into song quite often and for no apparent reason. Trouble is, the songs are so bloody catchy and nearly all uptempo enough to get the entire audience tapping their feet and humming the tune as they leave the theatre. The only real low-key number is actually quite moving and was beautifully sung.
This leads me onto the performers, who to a man/woman, were all excellent; great voices and good acting, as well as making the dance routines work in a very compact space. Man-of-the-Match for me though was Ben Redfern, closely followed by Ali James. Both had energy, conviction and the real presence that such a show demands.
Even for those who don't care about football or know nothing about it, the musical has plenty to offer and really is very, very funny.
All in all, football was the winner, so if you're around in London, go and check out "Who Ate All The Pies?"