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Review of I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical at Crazy Coqs

I wish my life were a musical
I wish my life were a musical

Wouldn’t life be better if it were like a musical? Alexander S. Bermange certainly thinks so as he presents his musical revue at Crazy Coqs about the journey of an actor from fresh-faced drama school graduate through to a “past-it” chorus member, directed by Paul Foster.

The cast of four actors reunites Suzie Mathers and Oliver Savile from their stints in Company (Aberdeen) and Wicked (London), as well as Liam Tamne and Diana Vickers who were in the 2016 UK Tour of the Rocky Horror Show together. At the top of the show, the four actors are dispersed within the audience as the front of house staff for the opening number “Ladies and Gentlemen…” which points out some rather funny truths about the best and worst seats in the house and audience etiquette.

The songs are linked with short and sweet (if occasionally fluffed) snippets of dialogue that chart the career of a musical theatre performer.

Mathers dazzles with her top soprano and shows off her comedy chops in numbers such as “I Love to Sing” and “The Diva’s in the House”. Savile delights the audience when insisting musicals aren’t his end goal in “A Serious Actor” and as the fanboy of Mathers in “When a Fan Loves a Woman”. The title song, packed full of musical theatre puns and excerpts is adeptly delivered by Vickers, and Tamne is hilarious in his numbers recounting the issue of finding the right key to sing in; the pre-show ritual of an actor and the gloomy existence of “Standing By”.

Bermange also chipped in from the piano, lamenting that he was forever “Stuck in the ensemble” and introduced the rousing finale “You Can’t End a Show without an encore”. I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical is sharp, funny and a wonderful lighthearted insight into the life of the musical theatre performer. It’s a real treat to see this ensemble perform up close in an intimate setting.

4 stars

Review by Fiona Scott

Suzie Mathers reunites with Wicked co-star Oliver Savile, along with Rocky Horror’s Liam Tamne and Diana Vickers, in this sparkling new comedic musical revue, created by Alexander S. Bermange and directed by Paul Foster.

I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical sets out to present everything that you could possibly want to know about being a musical theatre performer… if only there were any who would dare to admit it. Created by “wonderfully witty comic songwriter” (LBC) and iTunes comedy album chart-topper Alexander S. Bermange, and directed by Paul Foster – whose recent successes have included A Little Night Music at the Watermill Theatre and Annie Get Your Gun at Sheffield Crucible – this thrilling new musical revue comedically covers the journey from eager drama school graduate right through to brattish diva, or past-it chorus member, or bitter has-been (or “never-was”).

Along the way, you will be privy to anecdotes, revelations and confessions – in song – that lift the lid on awful auditions, debilitating dance routines, mid-performance mishaps, and backstage backstabbing – alongside celebrations of those magical moments (however rare) that make it all seem worthwhile.

Crazy Coqs (part of the Live At Zédel programme) | 9 – 15 & 17 April 2018
Crazy Coqs, 20 Sherwood Street, London W1F 7ED
Running time: 85 mins

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