I remember growing up when the real super heroes wore tutu’s and carried a mop. This may sound strange to some people, but I can assure you this wasn’t a weird childhood fantasy, I am talking about the original avenger Toxie, in The Toxic Avenger (1984). I have enjoyed the continuing story of ‘The Toxic Avenger’ which includes 3 sequels and a children’s cartoon, so when I heard that they would be continuing the story with a new rock musical I was eager to check it out.
I originally saw the musical version of The Toxic Avenger during a limited run at the Southwark Playhouse in 2016 and it was one of the best musicals I have seen. The show is in keeping with the dark violent humour of the original films and had me laughing throughout. The fact it is a musical may not appeal to everyone, but Toxie is not a normal super hero and this is not a normal musical. The collaboration between ‘Memphis’ writer Joe DiPietro and Bon Jovi keyboard/vocalist David Bryan is amazing, owing more to the style of Tenacious D & Steel Panther than The Phantom of the Opera.
The original run was nominated for six Off West End awards, so it’s great to see the show being transferred to a bigger theatre, where it will return for its second London run and West End debut. Following the concept “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” the show’s original director Benji Sperring will also be returning for the new production. Hopefully this means they will be able to retain the original cast, as their energy on stage together is intoxicating and I can only imagine it will get better with a larger production.
This is a great show and I can’t wait to see it again. It will be on a limited 10 week run, so get your tickets when you can and you will have the chance to sing along to musical classics such as “Who Will Save New Jersey?” “Thank God She’s Blind” and “Hot Toxic Love”
Based on the characters created in Lloyd Kaufmans cult classic The Toxic Avenger, it tells the story of the citizens of Tromaville who are crying out for a hero. Enter Melvin Ferd the Third, an aspiring earth scientist determined to clean up the toxic waste problem. When a corrupt Mayor and her government goons get wind of his plans, they vow to stop this heroic feat, Melvin is tossed into a vat of toxic waste, and transformed into the Toxic Avenger, New Jersey’s first superhero!
The Toxic Avenger will be opening at the Arts Theatre from 2nd October with previews from 28th September.