Right from the minute it started I was impressed by the acting and the lighting which I thought was particularly good. The band was fantastic. I would pay to listen just to them at another venue. Four people sang; they were so enjoyable to listen to. I liked the twist on Freud's: ID and EGO to an ecclesiastical theory. It had a moral tale for anyone at any age. It seemed to be bursting with talent.
Charming and sincere, with a meaningful storyline about the meaning of life, with a romance thrown in for good measure.
This cast was super talented and versatile and did a great job, all enhanced by a live band, who brought it all to life.
“Jack Terroni provides the story, music and lyrics to this wonderfully immersive twist on traditional musical theatre. Equal parts jazz lounge set, indie-rock gig and charming morality play, Terroni leaves an assured stamp on this uplifting tale.
Absolutely FABULOUS! Refreshing to see a musical where the music is good and the singers can actually sing! Who says musicals have to be sickly and cringeworthy? If you agree, this is the show for you. Thoroughly original, deep and meaningful storyline performed by highly talented cast.
The opening 20 minutes of this musical explode in delightful, unexpected new directions as new characters, sets and even an entire live band unfold on stage. It is a delightful, almost giddy experience...Stand-out performances from the leading lady and alter ego make this definitely worth a much bigger audience.
What a great production. Great live band. Very strong cast worthy of the West End. The actress playing Edie really stood out for me, she was an exquisite dancer and had a beautiful voice. Also, the actor who played Ego. The show deserves to be seen by a much bigger audience.
"If you haven't yet discovered Jack Terroni, then imagine the soul searching vocals of Nick Cave, the energetic riffs of Dave Gilmour, the commanding presence of Michael Crawford and the compositional genius of a Hans Zimmer, all infused into one genetic hybrid. But Jack Terroni is far more than this, whilst it is easy to see influences of such legends in his work, he will absolutely become a legend in his own right"
This was a very enjoyable and memorable evening. The production and the acting were slick and professional. I loved the music. The musicians were talented, singing with touching, soulful voices. This musical was not just entertaining, it was heartfelt too. I would definitely recommend this show.
This is a thoughtful, painful and also playful story of a confused young man surrounded by friends and foes with excellent live-on-stage music and song.
The show ended with joyful celebrations at the end of an arduous journey.
“…tremendous music, Jack Terroni can certainly write and arrange a song, supported by a fantastic on-stage band.”
(Audience Club is a Theatre Membership organisation formed in 2007 to offer theatre tickets to London's key workers such as NHS Nurses, Police and Firefighters. In return for complimentary tickets, members leave verified reviews)
Steve executive produced Punchy! The Musical Soundtrack with Jack Terroni. Steve is a triple-platinum selling record producer with the album Seasons of My Soul by Rumer (Atlantic Records), followed by the acclaimed MOBO-winning artist Laura Mvula’s platinum debut Sing to the Moon for RCA. Theatre includes: music/lyrics for the musicals Spend Spend Spend (Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Best New Musical), and Tony! The Tony Blair Rock Opera at The Park Theatre, which opened in 2022 to a rapturous reception.
"Punchy's early life was defined by tragedy, circumstance and poor choices; painful snapshots of his life. It is easy to be so consumed by those snapshots, unable to zoom out to gain greater perspective that your life is not reduced to those moments alone. Punchy's resilience is our joy!" ~ Tiffany King
Tiffany is an experienced Director, Choreographer, Writer and Performer. Recent credits: directing, choreographing and writing the Concert show RESPECT: THE ARETHA FRANKLIN SONGBOOK which featured a stellar line-up of artists including Olivier Award winning Actress Amber Riley, Mica Paris, Jaki Graham and Cleopatra Higgins (UK Tour and Arena Tour)
"This is a show everyone can relate to because we all have our inner fears and conflicts: we just don't talk about them. "Punchy!" brings these conversations alive spectacularly through the personification of his ego and soul. It is a story of the triumph of love over fear." ~ Richard Barrett
Richard Barrett is an author, presenter, coach and internationally recognised thought leader on the evolution of human values in business and society. His book 'What my Soul told me' is the source text upon which Punchy! is based.
"Although set in the first half of the twentieth century, Punchy! focuses on the timeless challenges facing young and vulnerable people. Whether it's the negative influence of a dysfunctional childhood or the corrosive peer pressure of today's social media - they must learn to trust a true voice amid the clamour: the voice of their Soul. ~ Playwright, Kevin McMahon
Kevin is a playwright and poet. His verse drama “The Claykickers’ Chorus” was a finalist of the 2018 Kenneth Branagh International Drama Writing Award, and was performed at the Windsor Fringe. His poetry has been published in several anthologies and broadcast by the BBC.
"I didn't set out to write a musical, I've always been put off by the thought of jazz hands and glitter! If I was writing one, we had to do things differently. Punchy! is inspired by the real story of my Mother's working-class childhood in 1950s Islington. I was moved at how a young man with mental health challenges left home one day never to be seen again. Punchy! imagines what could have been if he followed the voice of his Soul and asks you to be courageous enough to do the same..." Jack Terroni (Producer/Composer)
Jack Terroni is an award-winning composer whose musical compositions have been honoured with the Sylvia Anderson Award at the esteemed Pinewood Film Studios, in London 2019. Jack and Punchy! has featured on the BBC and it is Jack's passion to bring forth musical works that accelerate the evolution of human consciousness. He lives in Brisbane, Australia with his fiancée Georgina and their barmy cat Nox!
James (Robert Allen) was born in 1899, his father served in WW1 and returned from the front as an emotional remote figure in James’ early life. Therefore, James grew up in a world lacking compassion. This was only compounded by the death of his wife Ava in childbirth, and his service in WW2. As a result, James adopts the drunken and brutal behaviours of his Father before him, and transfers the same abuse to Punchy, who, despite being a strapping young man, is simply petrified of his Dad. Can their relationship be redeemed?
Robert Allen is a Londoner, born and bred having lived in the same road in Finchley for nearly 50 years! From a very early age I was schooled in all aspects of theatre and have acted in over 200 productions from historical to hysterical, from serious to silly and everything in-between! I am honoured to part of the first showing of Punchy!
Doreen (Eleanor Walsh) is somewhat of an ingenue, flattered and thirsty for attention. As her relationship with Punchy begins to strain, she can no longer contend with his drunken, unreliable antics and thus conceives dishonest plans to accomplish her dream of settling down.
Eleanor Walsh graduated from ArtsEd with a First in my BA Musical Theatre degree. She has worked in musical theatre and straight theatre in the West End, regional fringe venues and international tours. Industry awards: Offie Nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical 2019
Soul (Peter Parker Mensah) is the playful voice of reason amidst the clamour for Punchy’s welfare and offers him a broader perspective than his Ego. Soul gracefully encourages Punchy to expand into his authentic self. His techniques in this matter range from his good sense of humour to other more esoteric means…
Peter Parker Mensah originally from Accra and currently living in London. Trained with New York acting coach Michael Duvall at the Instinctual Acting school. Credits include The Informer, Citadel(2022 AMAZON series) and Bolan’s shoes (Feature). This is Peter’s stage debut and he is delighted to be part of this wonderful production to give an innovative and exciting portrayal of the character Soul.
Ego (Jaymes Sygrove), the trickster! Initially an ardent inner critic of Punchy, Ego loves nothing more than to cajole, fret and berate him with diatribes of well-intended, yet, meaningless advice! Ego and Soul must reach a consensus, but can they align? Will Punchy see through Ego’s smokescreen of fearful hallucinations?
Jaymes can be seen in the role of Clarke Gable in the 2001 Edward Hall movie BLITHE SPIRIT starring Judi Dench. He premiered the lead role of Joseph Plunkett in OUR DAY WILL COME by Stephen Coll at the Golden Knight International Film Festival in Malta, and toured Europe in the coveted role of Paulina in Shakespeare's THE WINTERS TALE with The Festival Players Theatre Company.
Frankie (Richie Brett) is the local Teddy Boy and leader of the pack. If he wants something, he takes it, no questions asked.
Richie recently graduated from the Courtyard Theatre Training Company with first class honours. In his most recent performance, he played the lead role of Hobson in Hobson’s Choice. He has a love for improv, modern and classical theatre, with a particular affection for comedic roles. Originally from South Shields, Richie spent much of his youth surfing the dark North Sea, binge watching sci fi-films, and playing the blues on his guitar.
Manny (Philip Gill) The kindly tailor in the local community, a man who has really known grief. Despite this, Manny understands that no matter how bad things look, you can always find love if you’re looking in the right places. Manny is just the right mentor for George, if only Punchy can heed his advice...
During Summer 2021 Philip Gill completed Eastern Angles tour of “Red Skies” in which he played author Arthur Ransome, before returning to London to play Jack in “Invisible Me” at the New Wimbledon Studio Theatre.
Olive (Fiona Kelly) embodies strength, courage and wisdom. Her hands are toughened with work as the resilient Matriarch of the community, and landlord of the Jameson's Arms. Olive's wish is to protect Edith from making similar mistakes with her life choices. This desire ,however, is outweighed only by Olive’s unwavering encouragement to help her daughter find real love and true fulfilment.
Fiona Maeve Kelly is an Irish actress and writer, living in the UK since 2016. Fiona trained at the Gaiety School of Acting, Ireland's National Theatre School, and completed a number of national tours with Mend & Makedo Theatre company, before making the move across the pond to the bright lights of London.
George (Robert Hook) is a lost soul, raised in a poor and volatile environment; his preferred coping mechanism is a mix of whiskey, arrogance and selfish behaviour. He is seldom at ease. Despite this, there is a spark of light in George in the form of musical talent that he discreetly administers - a balm for the wounds of his childhood. We witness his quest to find his authentic self, with guidance from his community and friends… (both mortal and unworldly!)
Robert Hook, originally from a small village in Kent, jumped the pond to train as an actor at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in Los Angeles, combining training from both the UK and the US. Having been back in London for a few years, recent credits include PEAKY BLINDERS (Season 5), THE MILKMAN’S ON HIS WAY (Brighton Fringe) and I LIVE FOR YOU (Indie Feature)
Edie (Lucy Penrose) Fiercely independent, self-assured and with a love of imported American R&B records, Edie is the graceful barmaid at her Mum's pub. Exuding wisdom and a fine singing voice, she encourages Olive to move with the times, introducing live music into their pub. Edith knows how capricious and bittersweet the world can be and thus remains guarded with Punchy despite holding a candle for him. Will they ever be compatible?
Hailing from the Isle of Man, Lucy Penrose attended Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts training in Acting. From there she has worked in all manner of productions, highlights include; her West End Debut in 2017, playing Young Judy Garland in 'Judy!' at the Arts Theatre, and playing Madge Hardwick, in 'Top Hat' with The Royal Court Theatre Company.
I didn’t set out to write a musical, I’ve always been put off by the thought of jazz hands and glitter! If I was writing one, I had to dispense with what I perceived as the outdated artifice of the genre, and shake things up into something real! ‘Punchy!’ was inspired by an actual account from my Mother’s working-class childhood in 1950s Islington. I was moved at how a young man with mental health challenges left home one day never to be seen again. ‘Punchy!’ imagines what could have been if he followed the voice of his Soul and asks you to be courageous enough to do the same.
The London Audience Members I met with after the show demonstrated beautifully the wholehearted willingness to subscribe to such a philosophy. One evening after a performance, I met a lady who was especially moved by the ethos of Punchy! She informed me that the soulfulness of the show's message had now led her to consider writing her late Grandma’s story, after she had discovered a batch of letters from her after her death. Her Grandma was of the Windrush generation, and although the lady informed me that she didn’t feel she had the right nor confidence to write her story, thanks to what she had witnessed in the show, she felt empowered.
There were many instances like this; another man tearfully described to me how he now felt responsible to repair the rift in his relationship with his own troubled son. I also met in the theatre bar a senior citizen, Susan, who had walked in the pouring rain at the age of 80 from Tottenham to Old Street to attend a performance, simply because she felt inspired by Punchy's subject matter. After describing without any fuss, how both the painful and playful narrative had made her evening, with an extraordinary grace, she quietly left our table and as the self-determined hero that she was, walked home.
These encounters humbled me beyond my wildest expectations. In a world often driven by achievement and material possessions, virtue is the only thing on this earth that can over-deliver. The ego-centric illusionary gifts will banish into the abyss of time. Our friendships however, endure and I was deeply touched to have an audience share such personal disclosures with me. This experience has shown me the potential for human flourishing is limitless if only we learn to align our Ego/Body with our Soul.
Joseph Campbell once said “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” I have come to see through time that the trauma I experienced in my early life was in many ways an intelligent design feature,(albeit a desperately painful one) serving as a bridge to a higher purpose. The songs in this musical bookend 16 years of my life, drawing from many exploratory musical and personal reincarnations. These experiments were either deeply blissful or left me quietly dissatisfied, until the day they inevitably wrapped themselves around a poignant story from my Mum’s childhood. The real ‘Punchy’ also suffered from his mental health, leaving home never to be seen by his family again. However, through the grace of friendship and many beautiful souls, I have been fortunate
to live a different, triumphant story. This may be by its nature an iterative process, nonetheless, it is an evolutionary tale, a story I hope many can live out in their own way.
Love and Light
Learning to love yourself, to see all of yourself in full technicolour focus and embrace every crease, line and flaw (no filters allowed!] doesn't always come easy but it is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
Punchy! is the perfect musical for this time we are living in. At a time when so much has changed and the world literally stopped, we all had an opportunity to pause, reflect and even heal.
Punchy's early life was defined by tragedy, circumstance and poor choices; painful snapshots of his life. It is easy to be so consumed by those snapshots, unable to zoom out to gain greater perspective that your life is not reduced to those moments alone. There is as much joy as there is sadness, as much laughter as there are tears. When you can take that step back, life seems to begin to make more sense. Those snapshots are part of a much bigger picture. Punchy's resilience is our joy. He is a man with a past but that does not define his future. Hope. Joy. Laughter.