It’s just as well in previous incarnations the Kings Head Theatre, the first pub theatre since Shakespeare’s day, was once used as a boxing ring because the near fisticuffs that follow when Adam is being fought over by Eve and his camp ‘best friend forever’ Steve, might have called for a return to the pugilistic stage setting.
It all gets quite messy once God creates Adam in the Garden of Eden. Soon afterwards, Beelzebub (Stephen McGlynn) in matching red silk necktie and blazer, and with the smarmy, smiley manner of a 1980s TV game show host throws an odd chromosome into the mix just as God is about to create Eve – and out comes Steve instead!
Beelzebub’s constant refrain is a little ditty which includes the much-repeated line “It’s all about me, (not Adam & Eve or Steve)” and you wouldn’t want to argue with him on that point. His showy, crowd-charming nature wouldn’t see him out of place fronting Brucie’s Play Your Cards Right but the fine comic balance of Joseph Robinson as a Welsh Adam, Liverpool-born Hayley Hampson as a Scouse Eve and Dale Adams the gay Steve is the perfect blend in this provocative and hilarious musical.
But this menage a trois is never destined to fare well, what with Eve arching those Scouse eyebrows and angrily fiddling with her long Liverpool plait whenever Steve swans past. The naïve yet spirited Adam forever confused about his attraction powers and torn between the squabbling two. And behind the scenes, Beelzebub expertly conducting the chaos with the odd shake of a tempting apple tree.
The shifting neon lighting values pick up on every accentuated comedic nuance and give the sense of a dreamy, nightclub-like paradise. Not as refined as Mahiki but you’ve probably propped up the bar somewhere just as garishly tropical. Certainly, on your summer hols. The piano accompaniment has to be commended as well for adding to this atmosphere. You can’t miss the pianist, he’s dressed as an angel and has huge glittery wings!
Whatever its notable track record, going by tonight’s performance this 2017 version is still on track. Since 2015 it has proved its audience appeal by winning Best New Musical at the Hollywood Fringe and also played to packed audiences at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Yes, an enjoyable farce that will give you a great big belly laugh.
Adam & Eve…and Steve Kings Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QN until April 29th. 8.40pm. Tickets £15 & £18.50 (cons) £22.50 (standard)