Marble Arch station has often been a place best avoided of a weekend evening.
The grey concrete of the square right on the doorstep of the tube station was often frequented by hordes of people – tourists, party goers – making their way across town.
But this uninspiring plot has become resident to the pop-up Marble Arch Theatre and the home of the revival of musical Five Guys Named Mo.
Now this has nothing to do with burgers, and you’d be forgiven for the only ‘Five Guys’ you’ve heard of being the fast food chain, because despite winning Olivier Awards and being nominated for Tony Awards for its first stint in the 90s, this seems like a seldom heard of show in comparison to most musicals.
But that hasn’t stopped it crashing back to London with a bang over 15 years since it wowed audiences at the West End’s Lyric Theatre. Sure, the Marble Arch Theatre isn’t technically a West End venue but the show’s unconventional home is the perfect fit for this unconventional musical with its New Orleans vibe and relaxed atmosphere.
The show is set in the round with varying seating options (at varying prices) leaving some audience members sat at tables, others on bleachers and the rest creating a circle around the action. But one massive advantage to this unique layout is every view is a good view, especially as it’s six man cast meander through the crowd as if you are extras on stage alongside them. Warning: if you don’t like audience participation, sit on the bleachers.
The show features the swinging songs of “King of the Jukebox” Louis Jordan performed by the title characters, Five Guys Named Moe.
From the moment Big Moe, Little Moe, Eat Moe, Know Moe and Four Eyed Moe emerge we are sucked into their manic world of swinging dance moves, hilarious comic timing and sage relationship advice all delivered through the vessel of Jordan’s greatest hits such as ‘Saturday Night Fish Fry’, ‘Choo Choo Ch Boogie’ and ‘There Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens’.
But you don’t need to have heard any of Jordan’s hits to enjoy their timeless nature, bass slapping rhythm and witty lyrics all performed by a talented cast and a live band on the stage.
There is nothing more feel good than Five Guys Named Moe and for a ‘blue Monday’ like today, what more could you want to lift your spirits?
For tickets and more information visit the Five Guys Named Moe website here.