Tag Archives: Hunter Bell

[Title of Show]


Moors Bar

Title of Show

[ Title of Show ]

Moors Bar Theatre

Reviewed – 7th August 2019



“This play does carry a strong message, which director Eleanor Felton expertly highlights”


The Camden Fringe promotes itself as a chance to see edgy, experimental and brand new theatre. To be invited to see a show called [ title of show ] therefore didn’t raise much of an eyebrow, although I do wonder how many people bypass the play due to the ambiguity of the title. I however was intrigued and turned up with an open mind, an open notebook and a slightly puzzled expression on my face.

It turns out that this is the story of Jeff, Heidi, Hunter and Susan, writing a musical about Jeff, Heidi, Hunter and Susan. They give themselves three and a half weeks to write a script and submit it to a festival with the ultimate hope that it might be a hit and end up on Broadway. Not having a specific idea for a plot, they sit down to write the first things that come into their heads and to document for inclusion, all conversations that they hold.

The small, square stage was decorated by four simple, wooden chairs. These were well used and effortlessly moved around. The simple lighting was used to good effect.

An original idea for a script, a lot of the obvious gags were used early on and the dialogue did at times become a little repetitive, although many of the ‘under the breath’ quips were very nicely done particularly by Susan. Writing can be a tortuous, lonely task and watching people struggling for ideas to move their piece on, didn’t always make for the most compulsive viewing, despite us being told that ‘Writing should be as easy as a monkey driving a speedboat’!.

But this is a musical and any show from this genre will live or die by its musical numbers. Fortunately, the four strong cast (William Tippery, Charlotte Denton, Kieran Parrott and Alyssa LeClair) are all blessed with equally strong singing voices, the harmonies were a highlight and filled the room with the most gorgeous sounds, all under the expert accompaniment of Robert Hazle who was so skilled, that at times you never even noticed his on-point playing.

Highlights, were the opening number “No Title”, the delightful “Stuck In A Role Playing Me” the cleverly written and well delivered “Who Is Heidi, Who Is Susan” and the amusing “Unwanted Photo-Shoot”. Oddly, my only real issue with the music was the finale. A cracking, uplifting number was belted out and drew whoops and applause, only to be followed by a downbeat, final number which took the wind a little out of the sails.

The show ran out of steam a little in its final third, “I want to have substance. not fluff” one of the actors cried, a small amount of editing and a little more substance would in my opinion, help the show to roll along at a better pace.

I have to mention the ‘Relaxed Performance’ that this company are putting on this Friday afternoon for adults or young adults with autism or complex sensory needs. A lovely idea and I wish them every success with this venture.

This play does carry a strong message, which director Eleanor Felton expertly highlights. Be inspired to take a risk and do the thing that you’ve been wanting to do, do it for three weeks and then show somebody. You may have a gem?

Thank you Plan Z Theatre for an interesting evening, if anybody wants me, I’ll be available in three weeks time…


Reviewed by Chris White

Pictures by Joel M Photography


Camden Fringe

[ Title of Show ]

Moors Bar until 10th August as part of Camden Fringe 2019


Previous shows covered by this reviewer:
Citysong | ★★★★ | Soho Theatre | June 2019
Little Light | ★★★ | The Tower Theatre | June 2019
Feel The Love | ★★★★ | Chickenshed Theatre | July 2019
Parenthood | ★★★½ | The Space | July 2019

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[title of show]

[Title of Show]

Above the Stag

Title of Show

[title of show]

Above the Stag

Reviewed – 15th February 2019



“The format of the show is stuffed full of comic and satirical potential”


[title of show] charts the story of writer and composer Hunter and Jeff (Michael Vinsen and Jordan Fox respectively) trying to write a musical with their friends Susan (Natalie Williams) and Heidi (Kirby Hughes) for an upcoming festival and all the trials and tribulations that accompany it. The beautifully meta aspect of the show is that Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen were actually the creatives behind [title of show], which is the musical they wrote for an upcoming festival – it’s at one point described as ‘a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical’. This provides a delicious sense of spontaneity to the way the action on stage unfolds, as all the characters are aware that they are in a musical that is being written – one character remarks that Susan has been very quiet during the scene, she responds that it’s because she didn’t have a line in the script until now. The format of the show is stuffed full of comic and satirical potential, and moments like this wring all its possibilities fully.

However, the show was originally written in 2004 and has been considerably successful, even making it to Broadway in 2008, and so the second act of the show – which charts the journey of the show following the festival – feels disjointed and not quite as polished as a result. The first act’s blend of snappy dialogue, clever commentary and engaging songs that are fully integrated with the plot and characters are in the second act replaced with a messier concoction that feels more like a play that drags out a contrived conflict between two characters and begrudgingly throws a song in every now and then until the final sequence.

Thankfully, the shortcomings in [title of show]’s writing in the latter half is made up for by stellar direction and performances throughout. Director Robert McWhir takes every opportunity to let the story and the characters shine through, ensuring that the weaker elements feel more fleshed out and that the comedy and pathos is given the full spotlight. His smart staging makes the relatively cosy space feel huge, giving the actors ample room to take advantage of – and they certainly do. Every single cast member delivers an imaginative and encapsulating performance, although Michael Vinsen is especially exemplary in the relatability, drive, and hilarity he brings to Hunter. The only shortfall is that – as the actors don’t have mics – if they are at the opposite end of the space, lyrics can occasionally be lost.

This is a shame, as the music and lyrics are often catchy and clever. Numbers such as ‘Monkeys and Playbills’, ‘Die, Vampire, Die!’, and ‘Nine People’s Favourite Thing’ are all gleefully inventive and, thanks to Oli George Rew’s expert accompaniment, feel vivid and characterful in their composition.

The sheer love of musical theatre and the process of creation that [title of show] displays will make you fall in love with it despite some missteps, and will have you leaving the theatre truly charmed, and a little more inspired in your own dreams and aspirations.


Reviewed by Tom Francis

Photography by PBG Studios


[Title of Show]

Above the Stag until 10th March


Last ten shows covered by this reviewer:
Welcome ..? | ★★★★ | Bridewell Theatre | October 2018
Brat Kids Carnival | ★★★½ | Christmas In Leicester Square | November 2018
Chutney | ★★★ | The Bunker | November 2018
Motherhood or Madness | ★★★ | Katzpace Studio Theatre | November 2018
Specky Ginger C*nt | ★★½ | Katzpace Studio Theatre | November 2018
Pinocchio | ★★ | The Albany Theatre | December 2018
Fight Night | ★★★★ | The Vaults | January 2019
Original Death Rabbit | ★★★★★ | Jermyn Street Theatre | January 2019
Black Is The Color Of My Voice | ★★★ | Trafalgar Studios | February 2019
Soul Sessions | ★★★★ | Trafalgar Studios | February 2019


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