Let’s be honest, we’d probably all enjoy life just a little bit more if it resembled something out of musical theatre; if every problem could be solved with a catchy tune or a showstopping dance number, life would be pretty sweet. Alexander S. Bermange’s I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical embraces this notion, giving us a hilarious frolic through sixty minutes of unadulterated love for musical theatre.
This song cycle follows four aspiring musical theatre performers, from completing their final days at drama school to making it on to the West End stage. Each song gives us another insight in to the challenges, pitfalls and opportunity that every aspiring musical theatre performer comes across.
For anyone who works in the industry, or is a particularly avid fan of musical theatre, there will be the added benefit of picking up on all the little in-jokes or ‘easter eggs’ that are littered throughout I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical. But for the entire audience there’s a fantastically funny, yet fully formed score just waiting to be enjoyed.
The songs are generally upbeat and catchy numbers, reminiscent of some of our favourite West End musical scores. They tackle everything from the horrors of a love scene, to working with a diva and the fans who wait by the stage door night after night. Directed and choreographed by the talented Chris Whittaker, his vast experience of stage work clearly shines through, making this Fringe song cycle feel bigger and bolder in every way.
A superbly talented cast keep the audience delighted throughout. Charlotte Anne Steen gives a particularly strong performance in one of the few ballads about aspiring to be a performer, while Felix Mosse is outstanding in both the big vocal numbers and the more comedic routines.
James Hume is very funny in a number about going on stage while sick, and Charlotte O’Rourke also impresses with a range of vocal styles. With nods to ‘stunt casting’ and theatre etiquette, it very cleverly sets the scene for life in musical theatre. I especially enjoyed a number about over the top dance routines which have been “choreographed by a masochist”, I’m sure I’ve seen their work!
I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical is a fantastic showcase of comedic, but exceptionally well-written songs which take us behind the scenes of the magic of musical theatre, and reminds us why we all love musicals in the first place.