After spending two terms behind bars since its cancellation in Michaelmas (thanks Covid) No Cash Left on the Premises Overnight is making its long-anticipated return to the ADC stage! This original musical, written by Ben James and Joe Venable and directed by Louise Dai and Kitty Beck, will feature as the ADC Lateshow on the 28th and 29th of May.
The musical comedy stages ‘one last heist’, undertaken by ‘three bumbling crooks’: Charli (Lara Cosmetatos), a ‘jaded con’ dreaming of one more pre-retirement swoop, Terri (Nicole Tilby), an anxious yet prudent thief plagued with bad luck, and ‘prize idiot’ Bobbi (Charlotte Dargan), the type to ‘go back into a burning building for no reason in particular’. Their mission? To steal the crown jewels.
The freshness and originality of No Cash became evident after sitting in on a vocal rehearsal led by composer and musical director Ben James. His score blends the sounds of contemporary musical theatre with electronic dance music, making for a show bound to re-energise the Cambridge live theatre scene upon the return of in-house audiences. The score combines with a talented cast and witty and ambitious lyricism from Joe Venable, culminating in a show that you don’t want to miss. After the rehearsal, I spoke to Ben about No Cash and the process of writing the score.
TCS: What musical influences went into the making of No Cash?
Ben: In No Cash there are a few electronic style songs and some songs approaching hip hop, so if there were a musical it were most similar to, it’d probably be Hamilton, as although it hasn’t directly influenced it, it’s been great to see new genres seeping into musical theatre. From the start, even before Covid, we wanted to make the show a backing track musical because of the range of genres you can explore using electronic instruments.
TCS: What was the toughest thing about putting on a show in Covid?
Ben: Well, it had to be cancelled in Michaelmas! Rehearsing has been tough, and also collaborating was more challenging: I wrote it with Joe Venables, who’s the lyricist, and writing remotely was really hard as we couldn’t just sit down at the piano together and write together in person, which was tough. So overall, the writing process was hard, the rehearsal process was hard, and also staging a show without any passing of props between each other was challenging, as well as choreography having to be two metres apart!”
TCS: What’s your favourite line in No Cash?
Ben: There’s a line in one of the songs – ‘I was so anxious till our Anschluss’ (which is a Joe Venable rhyme) which is good fun.
TCS: And finally, if you were to rob the crown jewels, what musical theatre character would you bring as your sidekick and why?
Ben: I think I’d go with Terri from this musical, because she always plays things safe!
Joining Terri, Bobbi and Charli is Melanie (Sophie Craddock), a security guard and Bobbi’s partner, while Emilia Grace plays both Keith, Melanie’s supervisor, and Kevin, a police officer ‘with a weakness for high-quality musical theatre’. No Cash delivers twelve original songs, from energetic dance numbers such as ‘Jackpot’ to heartfelt ballads like ‘Insecurity’, and promises to be a hilarious and high-energy evening of entertainment.
No Cash Left on the Premises Overnight will be running at 11pm on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th of May, and streaming and in person tickets can be bought from adctheatre.com/cash.