13 ★★★★ Cadogan Hall | August 31, 2021


For its exuberant production of Jason Robert Brown's musical 13, The British Theatre Academy fills the large stage of Cadogan Hall with around eighty young singers, dancers and musicians. The show is extremely age specific and centres on a twelve-year-old boy's quest to get his new school mates to attend his imminent Bar Mitzvah. Whilst obviously young, few of the principal cast appear to be twelve or thirteen. This actually improves the audience's experience as more mature voices suit the songs better and these young performers have terrific voices. The show itself feels like it is actually dealing with an older age group, and with its treatment of a disabled boy, a seemingly unattractive girl, and the class jock's relentless search for pubescent sex it often borders on bad taste. Luckily, Dean Johnson directs with a suitable lightness of touch and elicits excellent performances and plenty of humour from the situations. His work is supported by Corin Miller's jaunty choreography which manages to disguise the cast's lack of dance technique by sheer weight of numbers. The pom-pom wielding chorus of cheerleaders is a great hit with the audience. In the main role of Evan, we are lucky to have Edward Flynn-Haddon. Charming and geeky, he performs and sings exceptionally well. Among a long list of named characters, Ivy Pratt, Samuel Menhinick, Rebecca Nardin and Ethan Quinn shine. Jason Robert Brown's musical writing style isn't always easy and can be harmonically somewhat unconventional – this cast serve his score exceptionally well. There is definitely nothing unlucky here about the number 13.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Eliza Wilmot.

Want to save on tickets? See our Tips page.

When, Where, Getting there:

Most Popular

From Here To Eternity ★★★★ Charing Cross Theatre | Oct 29 - Dec 17, 2022

The Mousetrap ★★★★ St. Martin's Theatre | Extended Run

Top Hat ★★★★★ The Mill at Sonning | Nov 16 - Dec 30, 2022

Love Goddess, The Rita Hayworth Musical ★★★ The Cockpit | Nov 18 - Dec 23, 2022

Elf The Musical ★★★★★ Dominion Theatre | Nov 14, 2022 - Jan 7, 2023

Richard Mosse: Broken Spectre ★★★★ 180 The Strand | Oct 12 - Dec 4, 2022

A Sherlock Carol ★★★★ Marylebone Theatre | Nov 18, 2022 - Jan 7, 2023

Glory Ride ★★★ The Other Palace | November 14 - 16, 2022

The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary! ★★ Jermyn Street Theatre | Nov 17 - Dec 17, 2022

The Lavender Hill Mob ★★★★ Richmond Theatre | November 14 - 19, 2022

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings