Musical theatre preview: Mack and Mabel
A trip back to the glamour of Hollywood’s silent years
Michael Stewart’s musical is a tale of romance, women tied to railway tracks, clean-cut heroes and moustache twirling villains. Mack (played by Michael Ball) is a director of silent comedies and Mabel (Rebecca LaChance) a rising star. As Hollywood makes films that would define an era, Mack and Mabel follow a personal dream.
LaChance finds it easy to account for the musical’s success. ‘It has a little bit of everything!’ she explains. ‘Slapstick comedy, romance, huge dance numbers, an incredible Jerry Herman score, and a touching ending. We hope we have folks walking out having taken a whole journey with us!’
Despite the magic – LaChance enthuses about ‘the clothes: I have the greatest costumes, especially in Act II when Mabel makes her transformation to movie star!’ – there is a serious current beneath the glamour. ‘Mabel paved the way to equal opportunity for women in the film world.’
LaChance promises fun, too: ‘We've been lucky to have had an amazing audience response since our start in Chichester! You have fans of Michael, but the exciting part is that they love everything else about it. There's nothing more rewarding than a huge roll of laughter or the cheers during curtain call.’
Edinburgh Playhouse, Tue 10 Nov–Sat 21 Nov.