Bromance: The Dudesical
The Other Palace
Reviewed – 18th October 2018
“a gut-bustingly hilarious pop rock musical”
Brush up on your brocabulary because we’re heading to guyville. A place of bros, dudes, beer and chilli cheese fries. Bromance: The Dudesical is a gut-bustingly hilarious pop rock musical. It follows the story of Tom (Cellen Chugg Jones), Dick (Robbie Smith) and Harry (Richard J Hunt); three bros doing bro things. But on St Patricks day they come across Marty (Joshua Gannon), the opposite of a bro. We follow their quest of taking Marty on the road of bro.
First, I want to say, this show is brilliant. The music by Kyle Ewalt is genius. What starts off as a pop rock musical, skilfully glides through a plethora of music influences, from Disco to Country to Jazz. The lyrics by Michael Ian Walker and Kyle Ewalt are well crafted and add an additional layer of humour to the already hilarious script. My particular song favourite was ‘Heartburn’ performed by Harry.
With the wonderful material in play, the execution is pivotal. The five member cast succeeded in that regard. They are strong, full of energy and committed to what they are doing. Their energy pulsates throughout the entire fun, silly and irreverent two hour show; particularly in the stylised choreography. All were excellent, but the leading front bro for me was Robbie Smith as Dick. He is unstoppable in this role, creating a fully realised bro, commanding the stage and delivering the role with such humour and precision. A special mention must also go to Esme Laudat who faultlessly picks up all the female roles.
Despite everything that is going for this show, there are a few areas that need working on. There were a couple of stumbles with staging and words, and with the calibre of material and talent on stage, I expected better. The sound (Joe Morris) needs serious work; the mics of the performers seemed to cut in and out quite regularly and when they did work, the balance didn’t seem right, so you could hear some but not others. On a more positive note, the set design (Dan Gillingwater) in the small studio space of The Other Palace was very clever.
Bromance: The Dudesical is excellent. It has its problems, but they are easily fixable. I came out of The Other Palace, feeling uplifted by this show. Go check it out, bro.
Reviewed by Shaun Dicks
Photography by Andy Keelan
Bromance: The Dudesical
The Other Palace until 24th October
Previously reviewed at this venue:
The Importance of Being Earnest
Jack Studio Theatre
Reviewed – 16th November 2017
“fast, furious, and sophisticated; littered with delightful bunburying and Wilde’s beloved familiar quotes”
I decided years ago that the great thing about ‘The Importance Of Being Earnest’ is that it is difficult to over-act Wilde’s indignant characters in this play; they are all larger than life. Yet while it revels in stereotypes, the twists and turns we are taken through are not entirely predictable as they lead us to a wonderfully implausible conclusion!
The plot is deceptively simple: a man wishes to marry a woman. But the path to true love raises a few issues along the way like fake identities and disapproving families. These issues lead to more issues, which uncover further issues … which tangle issues even more.
From the start I loved the black and white set, a great backdrop allowing the hugely colourful characters to take centre stage. It was altered just the once to move the action from inside to out, meaning the entire play rested on the performance and the script.
The cast managed to balance the absurdity of the unfolding farce with clarity and what seemed like ease as the play rapidly progressed. The physical comedy required was dependent on expression and small movement, even occasional stillness, to heighten the constant quick witted dialogue full of wit and wisdom. The script was fast, furious, and sophisticated; littered with delightful bunburying and Wilde’s beloved familiar quotes, and delivered beautifully and comically by all on stage.
Both Daniel Hall and Riley Jones (as Algy/Ernest and John/Ernest) confidently trade raised eyebrows, cutting insults and quips like old adversaries. The ladies they fall in love with, Gwendolen and Cecily (played by Sophie Mercell and Emily-Rose Clarkson), sparkle in repartee with their beloved young men, and in both their burgeoning friendship and barely veiled animosity for each other. The dominating Lady Bracknell (played by Harriet Earle) was withering in tone and gaze, while the sneakily pivotal Miss Prism (Kate Sanderson) and bumbling Dr Chasuble (Scott Barclay) were amusingly simpering. Finally, The Butler, played brilliantly by Daniel Desiano-Plummer, as two separate servants at two separate locations, was understated and a constant source of amusement with muted actions in the background often creating distracting laugh out loud moments
Collectively the cast moved fluidly in action and prose, glossing over a couple of tiny script stumbles and a minor injury very professionally. The audience was constantly laughing, from giggles to guffaws. It seemed to me that the actors grew in confidence as the show unfolded and they settled into the pace. The production was good to start with and strengthened gloriously as the story unfolded. I left with the sound of laughter ringing in my ears and a smile on my face.
Reviewed by Joanna Hinson
Photography by www.everlockproductions.com
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
is at the Jack Studio Theatre until 2nd December