AMERICAN PSYCHO THE MUSICAL seems an incongruous pairing of murder and the lyrical however it follows a surprisingly long list of killer musicals, such as Little Shop Of Horrors, Sweeney Todd and Assassins, to name but a few. Even the Broadway blockbusters have dark hearts. West Side story – intolerance, Fiddler On The Rood – anti semitism, My Fair Lady – sexism, South Pacific and Porgy and Bess – racism.
The protagonist Patrick Bateman says towards the end of the show that this not a fable, this is not an allegory. However in the same way he lies to his ‘friends’ he is also lying to us. It is a cautionary tale. Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis with music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik this is an allegory about what happens when consumerism runs riot and the rich feel entitled to do anything. Indeed, there have been studies on road safety that have shown that drivers of expensive cars will disobey a stop sign three times more than the driver of a more humble car.
Set in the late eighties, early nineties when ‘greed is good’ was the mantra and Wall Street was in a massive bubble, those with too much money had no purpose but to find the next thrill be it in a fashionable new restaurant, status dripping motor car, labelled apparel and the next designer drug. To a psychopath such as Patrick Bateman, he feels that he is entitled to experience in his mind the ultimate thrill, slaughtering someone, be it somebody he knows or a complete stranger. And yet it is, at times, very funny, admittedly black comedy, there are laughs to be had. Continue reading AMERICAN PSYCHO THE MUSICAL @ THE HAYES THEATRE