Side Show is a fundamentally flawed musical, but one with which I have great affection. Having flopped twice on Broadway in the last 20 years the show is making its long awaited UK professional premiere at the Southwark Playhouse, the off-West End London venue that continues to attract producers hoping to spin straw into gold in a relatively risk-free commercial environment.
Inspired by the true story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, Side Show is a remarkable musical about love, acceptance and embracing the unique.
Side Show is presented by Paul Taylor-Mills, who returns to Southwark Playhouse following his three-time Olivier Award winning production of In The Heights and the WhatsonStage award winning production of Carrie: The Musical. Side Show features a score by Dreamgirls composer Henry Krieger and lyrics by Bill Russell (Elegies for Angels and Punks and Raging Queens).
The Hilton Sisters make ends meet playing a headline act at a seedy side show, languishing under the rule of an oppressive ringmaster. But when spotted by a talent agent, they are thrust into the spotlight of the famed 1920’s Orpheum Circuit. They soon become the highest paid vaudeville stars of their time, but whilst Daisy relishes the spotlight, Violet wishes for a quiet life with a man she loves, and who loves her. Can they balance their individual dreams with their inescapable physical connection? Side Show is a heartwarming search for first love and acceptance, amidst the spectacle of fame and scrutiny under the spotlight.