Police Cops The Musical

Police Cops The Musical
Reviews rating

In the US in the 1980s swaggering cops on TV shows flexed their muscles and felt the collar of bad guys.  This commonplace is the starting point for Police Cops The Musical in which the  copaganda story is played to mirthful death.

A vibrant opening with neon lights and high volume music puts us in the mood for an exhilarating evening in this fast-paced musical.

The hero is Jimmy who works in his father’s diner, he is a boy who is too timid to say he wants to leave the job or to ask a girl out.  He wants to be a cop ‘the best damned police cop ever.’  He wants to be, in one of the excruciating puns of the show, ‘An American not an American’t’.

The actors, Zachary Hunt, Nathan Parkinson and Tom Roe, also wrote the book and lyrics creating a comedy theatre which excels. The plot cleverly keeps to a traditional format of reluctant hero on a journey, divided lovers, an unreliable leader, a hidden enemy, comradeship, jeopardy and ultimate triumph.

They go through every cliché of Hollywood films: Jimmy is propelled to achieve by the memory of a dead family member; he teams up with an embittered veteran who abandons the bottle and rediscovers his vocation in their cop bromance; the parted lover works in an orphanage.

All these are mercilessly parodied, as Jimmy’s sister’s sings, ‘If I should unexpectedly die tonight’, sung with gusto by Natassia Bustamante, immediately after which, spoiler alert, she is shot and promptly dies.  In fact the women get the best songs, Melinda Orenga as Rosa hilariously sings that there’s got to be something more meaningful than helping abandoned children. ‘It’s as if God’s taking the piss/There’s got to be something much more meaningful than this.’

Five actors fill the stage with literally dozens of characters brought to life by the unfailing energy of the cast and Matt Cole’s spellbinding choreography.

There are swift and absurd costume changes and comic use of props in a style which is part farce, part panto and all circus arts.  Referencing an even earlier tradition, there is even such business as a fake table trick which looks like it comes from the golden age of silent comedy. Some of the laughs are surreal, such as a man in a beekeeper’s outfit laboriously explaining that he doesn’t have sex with the bees.

This is played on a superbly realised bare set of a grotty street scene with faded billboards surmounted by a huge red white and blue neon sign.

This show has a cast of five, three of whom are also founders of Police Cops Comedy Theatre Company.  I suspect they put a lot of their own resources into this piece.  It was worth it, it’s a hit.


Genre: Musical

Cast: Zachary Hunt, Nathan Parkinson, Tom Roe, Melinda Orengo, Natassia Bustamante

Choreographer: Matt Cole

Composer: Ben Adams

Dates: 18th March to 20th April     Running Time: 2 hours 15mins with 20 mins interval