With a tour de force of a singing trio, witty lyrics and a fabulous shoe collection, Liberty Rides Forth! may not have the production values of a West End musical – but it’s certainly got heart and guts.
Part cabaret, part love story and even part cautionary tale, Liberty Rides Forth! at Waterloo East Theatre follows the plight of Trevor (William Hazell) as he unsuccessfully tries to write a novel. In the name of unrequited love, Trevor invokes the help of whatever ‘powers that be’ he can muster – but soon feels overwhelmed by what he has started.
As the Muses, Georgie Faith (Ute), Chloe Rice (Callie) and Emma Scott (Thalia) are a tour de force. Currently undertaking their final apprenticeship job by helping Trevor, they are divine not only in nature – but sonically too. With airtight harmonies anchored by three beautiful voices, every musical number they’re involved in is that much more heavenly. So although they’re referred to as the “bargain basement Supremes” in a heated scene of Liberty Rides Forth!, in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Early in the evening, the Muses accompany Trevor as he sings “The Formula For Love” and the amalgamation of their voices fill Waterloo East Theatre with witty warmth. Beneath the charm of the song lies an almost undetectable sense of foreshadowing, as Trevor pursues his love to the detriment of his novel and visa versa. The Muses also possess wonderful comedic timing, especially as their task descends into chaos – and this renders their performances to be that much more enthralling.
As Liberty – the main character of Trevor’s story – is brought to life, Liberty Rides Forth! takes on a slightly darker, Faustian tone. Played by Dereck Walker, Liberty is able to switch between playful, seductive, menacing and everything in between at the bat of a voluminous eyelash strip. Liberty’s own renditions of her story are captivating and Walker brings a presence that fills the whole of the theatre. As the weedy Trevor, William Hazell provides a sympathetic contrast to the manipulative Liberty. Whilst being the only mortal in the play, Trevor still provides the audience with many comedic moments – and Hazell holds his own amongst some larger-than-life characters.
Ultimately, Liberty Rides Forth! is full of well-thought-out lyrics coupled along with exciting music. It’s easy to forget that the production is accompanied by a solitary pianist (Michael Roulston) as he plays seamlessly throughout the night. Whilst it may not have the production values of a West End musical, Liberty has heart and guts – as well as a fabulous shoe collection, sported by Walker, to boot.