Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Ridley’

I was a champion of this ill-fated show when it had its short West End run just over two years ago (https://garethjames.wordpress.com/2012/11/25). This new small scale production, coming very soon after, is high on energy and enthusiasm and a little more cartoonish and goofier. I liked it al over again.

It’s 1971 and geeky Michael is trying to invent what we now know as email, but he’s stuck at the final hurdle. He’s left Arch Systems, who’s CEO’s son Eddie, cocky but thick, is determined to steal Michael’s thunder, by any means including blackmailing Holly – Michael’s new geeky friend and love interest (if only he could muster some confidence) – who finally cracks it. It’s simple and silly but its musical theatre with the emphasis here on music, because its chief appeal is an excellent pop score packed full of catchy tunes by Elliot Davies and (Mc)Busted’s James Bourne.

Luke Newton is a very good likeable nerd, contrasting with Lewis Bradley’s fine turn as confident, vain bully Eddie. Jordan Fox is terrific as Michael’s even nerdier friend Lucas and there’s a great pair of athletic performances from Ryan Ridley & Charlie Kendall as Eddie’s sidekicks Wayne and Huey. It’s very well cast overall, showcasing no less than 19 talented young performers.

I’m normally an advocate for unamplified shows on the fringe, but the material and band make up here means we struggle to hear some of the solos, though the choruses are properly rousing. It’s an impressive directorial debut from actor Michael Burden, with excellent choreography by Matt Krzan.

A fun couple of hours packed with great tunes. Take kids.

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