Musical Loserville at Garrick Theatre
This is a show about geeks, nerds, jocks and girls. Similar to the american hit TV show The Big Bang Theory, the story follows long suffering-geek Michael Dork, along with his three dorky friends, as he invents the first communication code to send messages between computers. Along the way he meets Holly Manson, a beautiful brainiac who helps him overcome the rut in which he seems to be stuck. There are laughs, betrayal and tough decisions along the way, making for a varied and exciting storyline for this fantastic show.
Often re-using themes as melodies throughout, there is an excellent overriding sense of structure with this musical. We hear excerpts from past songs throughout the show, and often songs are split and adapted between characters. This makes for a constantly changing sound that keeps the music interesting and engaging. The songs and orchestration have a definite punk vibe, although retain that wonderful American high school, musical theatre feel. Most songs are upbeat and energetic, with a driving beat and fantastic ever changing harmonies.
The cast is truly fantastic. Aaron Sidwell is engaging in the lead role of Michael Dork. His voice is clear and full of colour, singing with precision throughout. He brings life and laughter to the character, with some very impressive geeky dance moves at one point. For this particular performance, the role of Holly was played by Eliza Hope Bennett, and she certainly put on a great show. A vast array of other performers deserve special mention: Lil Chris as Francis was hilarious, having the audience in stitches in several places. Richard Lowe and Daniel Buckley also brought their characters to life brilliantly with humour and vibrancy. A special mention should be made for Stewart Clarke, who played the part of Eddie Arch. His persona was brilliant, the character brought to life through a wonderful range of comic mannerisms. He was truly wonderful in this role, having the audience laughing throughout.
The staging for this musical was complex and impressive, the constantly changing set seemed a breeze for the extremely well rehearsed cast. Particularly smooth areas were the beginning and end of the show, where performers were introduced by cast members holding up cards stating the actors name. This had obviously been meticulously prepared in rehearsals and the segments ran like clockwork. It was almost as if we were watching a film with the credits popping up here there and everywhere.
The live band, set at the back of the stage, performed a great show; no blunder whatsoever. The cast were perfect, and these two elements together made for an hilarious, engaging and most enjoyable evening.
There was a great age range in the audience, from young teenagers to graduates, to the old couple sitting in the row in front (who seemed to have a wonderful time, leaving with beaming smiles). Anyone with a passion for new musical theatre (or even punk rock for that matter) should definitely give this show a go. I would recommend this show to anyone!
Loserville is at the Garrick Theatre now. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.