Miss Nightingale, sex, scandal & showbiz 1940s style.
Northern songbird Maggie and her refugee song writing friend George, wow war torn London with their bawdy, brash, loud and lewd compositions. Throw into the mix a repressed wealthy war hero, a married Lothario bribery, corruption, secret homosexual encounters, the scandal of a pregnancy out of wedlock and the stage is set for Miss Nightingale.
Funny and thought provoking, Matthew Bugg’s songs have you tapping your feet and jigging in your seat, with highly amusing word play and genuine comic genius. Conversely the haunting ballads and love songs left the audience feeling every ounce of pain, shame and repression.
The subject matter of homosexuality, illegal, in the 1940’s and a scarlet woman, pregnant to a married man, with no hope of respectability might seem common place in today’s world. But the show handled it with grace and good humour. Showing that love comes in many forms and that the unconventional can still be a wonderful love story.
The players had a set that was both simplistic yet crowded. Moving from scene to scene seamlessly, the band being on stage added to the cabaret club atmosphere.
All in all Miss Nightingale was a roaring success. A good portion of the audience were baby boomers and whilst some may have found some scenes difficult to watch (one lady was heard to describe at as “different”) with some of the attitudes of society that were being depicted, still part of their own upbringing. By the time the cast took their bow everyone was leaning forward and clapping wildly.
Perhaps Miss Nightingale is different but that is no bad thing. I’m still humming “Meine Liebe Berlin” now. It’s a very long time since a musical show has left such an impression.
Congratulation to the writers, musicians and the cast. The Ladies loved you!
- Lady Sky