REVIEW: 99% Proof - The Queens Theatre 17/07/14

Anyone who was in the audience of 99% Proof the other night is most likely still singing the songs now. It has been 4 days yet I can not get these songs out of my head! After being kindly invited to experience one of the previous rehearsals I was already aware that they were a cast full of strong voices, but you don't quite realise how strong until you encounter them completely filling up the whole theatre.

99% Proof tells the story of Judin Job, a Jewish boy who's only way through life is to live in the gutter. He has no family left, no job and is left under a tarpaulin with nobody to turn to but his room mate C.J. Turning to the Services for help he gets nothing but grief and it is made clear that his apparent only prospects are murder.

The show was full of songs that, as I've already mentioned, are some of the catchiest songs I've ever heard and I sort of wish there was a soundtrack so I could continue to listen to them at home. A personal favourite of mine, my mums and by the sound of it a large majority of the audiences was the 999 song, sung by Alexandra Martin about her longing for a man in uniform to set her free. It obviously had us in fits of laughter, and she continued to get us laughing throughout the show with her drunken behaviour.

The performance focused on very realistic subjects that are so common today yet rarely touched upon. Judin is stripped of his basic rights as a human being and humiliated about his religion; being forced to wear the yellow star of David on his chest being told "the only star you'll ever win is stuck to your chest with a jagged pin". The cruel words of Guard (Morton Tooley) and Commander Go Bells (Stacey Green) leave his dream of becoming a singer in the gutter alongside him.

Fortunately, life turns to his advantage and whilst Judin is left singing for his supper he finds love with Astro (Angela Elswood)- a single mother with guts and attitude and is eventually scouted in the street. Judin and Astro in a new found relationship alongside friends CJ and traumatised soldier Capability rise in the public eye and become stars.

Alex Rushton, Angela Elswood, Andy Cosgrave and Zack Hazell playing the parts of Judin, Astro, CJ and Capability are four very strong voices. There were some great harmonies from Angela and such a variety of voices complemented each other to create a sound that was clear and filled up the room with ease.

The life of Guard also turns around but not for the better like Judins. After turning away so many plees for help during his job with the services, he is then caught striking down a man and is sent down for murder. Yet when he is desperate for help and all he wants now in his life is water it is Judin who turns around and helps him showing the audience what's morally right in the world.

99% Proof is a story of love, friendship, morals and pain and is written so well by Jennifer Wilkin-Shaw. Unfortunately for some life isn't as on your side as it is for Judin and his friends. Yet, it showed the audience that no matter what people have done to you, and what's gone on in your life, it's never the wrong thing to be a good person.

99% Proof is among a variety of
plays performed 
at North Devon Theatres and are all well worth
the watch. (Website)



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