Like Chekhov’s prophetic gun above the mantle, any character who proudly shows off an ultrasound of their unborn son guarantees their own near-immediate demise.
In this wonderfully terrible musical, a photographer barely has the foetal-snap out of his pocket before he’s bitten to death by snakes. His already grieving, prenatal son then explodes from rear stage in his underpants, howling a mournful tune that includes such perfectly awful lines as “looking out through this bellybutton window” and ”a womb with a view”.
The boy grows up to become a photojournalist himself after a brief spell in a troupe of rapping and breakdancing schoolchildren, before setting off to do his father proud by snapping pics of some vaguely outlined famines and wars in some oddly non-specific third world countries. He befriends Tara, a beautiful and intelligent homeless woman who sells angels made of coke cans. Then a devilish looking Beppe from Eastenders shows up to offer our hero a Faustian pact: work for his PR firm as a dirty paparazzo for some hastily concocted reason.
To properly woo him, Beppe calls upon the resources of his media empire to invite the photographer to the most exclusive location in all of London: the top of the London Eye. (An expense of almost £40. More if he didn’t book in advance). The mogul then sings a self-aggrandising number heavily implying that hearing his own name gives him a complete erection.
The whole thing is bloody weird from start to end, an unintentional comedy so tragic that you’ll wonder how something this stupid and bizarre ever made it to the stage. There are times you’ll want to cringe your entire body inside out, or to crawl beneath your seat and just die of confusion. Like a border collie doing a crossword, Exposure is catastrophically inept yet staunchly endearing. So bad that it’s good, I absolutely recommend that you see this greasy stinker of a musical right now.