Musician David McGarrigle’s latest work ‘Gutz – The Musical’ had them on their feet twice at the Alley Theatre in Strabane last Thursday night and rightly so too. From the opening number to the final curtain, Gutz was a feast of great acting, impressive choreography and of course wonderfully colourful and catchy songs.
The story itself follows the journey of small town girl Casey Carson, played by the feisty Christina McBeth, as she leaves her small home town for the first time to pursue a career in the finance district of a major city. There she encounters a cocktail of characters – from the shallow and money driven to the sweet and innocent – but who all, in one way or another, shape who she is and what she wants. A number of topics, including greed, deceit, sexism, bullying and even marriage infidelity, are explored in this, Mc-Garrigle’s debut theatre piece.
Despite the weighty subject matter though, he has managed to pull it off through a sterling cast, energetic dance routines and again, the soaring vocals of a whole range of talented singers. Prior to opening night, the director described it as a “musical for the punter”. He was under-selling it when he said that and by some considerable distance too. McGarrigle is not just a great musician but also a writer with amazing imagination and vision. And this is a technicolour spectacular that will having you singing, cheering, booing, laughing and singing again. Gutz, ladies and gentlemen, is a triumph.