There have been a number of zombie musicals over the years such as “Z-Town The Zombie Musical, “Zombie Prom” and “Songs From The Living Dead” but it’s not a genre that seems have caught on, so writing a new one is a brave thing to do. But that fact hasn’t stopped Fat Rascal Theatre from coming up with Tom & Bunny Save The World which has just finished a short run at the Omnibus Clapham before heading off to five nights at The Vaults Festival in Waterloo and after that a long tour that will take them to eighteen towns and the Brighton Fringe in May.
Set in Britain sometime during a zombie apocalypse, Tom & Bunny Save The World sees Tom finding Bunny and (spoiler alert!), they set off to save the world – or in this case parts of the UK. It seems to start in the middle rather than the beginning with some confusing TV and radio interviews and lots of shouting and screaming from the cast of six that try to set the scene but don’t really tell us about the problem with the zombies; in fact, it took me a while to realise there were any zombies. Tom does find Bunny or rather the assertive Bunny finds the meek and mild Tom and we follow them on their adventure. It’s all a bit comic book which isn’t a bad thing except it doesn’t quite come off here and it rushes along at 100 miles an hour without really pausing for breath. At times it feels like a load of not quite finished sketches have been stitched together but unfortunately, it’s fraying at the seams. Then after the obligatory festival format, sixty minutes it comes to a sudden end and a black-out which was really unsatisfactory; maybe there’ll be a sequel? It really needed a big climax, but we didn’t get one and I got the impression the audience thought so too.
The book is a little weak and the music and lyrics aren’t really memorable, but the young cast give it all they’ve got and there’s lots of energy from everyone. I just feel that at times it seemed like a work in progress rather than a fully formed musical. There are some good points to be made about regionalism and a clever section poking fun at the Women’s Institute but there’s not enough of the good stuff. Also, I know it’s aimed at a younger audience than me, but I felt there was far too much gratuitous swearing that seemed to be there for effect and to raise a laugh rather than necessary in the context of the piece.
I really admire what this young, company have done, and I hope that the tour is a big success. They’ve obviously worked very hard and I’m sure they’ll go on to do bigger and better things than Tom and Bunny Save The World and despite my reservations about this show, I wish them well.
Review by Alan Fitter
As 2018 falls to a zombie apocalypse, Tom and Bunny begin their perilous journey to Yorkshire in quest of sanctuary and a proper cup of tea. From the creators of the award-winning 5* hits Buzz: A New Musical and Beauty and the Beast: A Musical Parody comes a gender-stereotype destroying, black and bloody comedy with a live folk soundtrack. Join Tom and Bunny as they discover what it is to be British in a crisis.
Fat Rascal Theatre
Tour Dates: 7th March – 2nd June 2018
Running Time: 60mins
Age Guideline: 12+
Tel: 07734 408574
Full details at www.fatrascaltheatre.com