Julian Eaves reviews I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical, a review by Alexander S Bermange at Crazy Coqs.
Maybe another member of the artistic team could be brought in to get a fresh look at this wonderful oeuvre and to showcase it as brilliantly as ‘Diva’, or how to introduce broader scope in mood and outlook. Meanwhile, Jerome van den Berghe is here as co-arranger (with the composer), and it seems that he is mainly responsible for the handsomely written ensembles. These are very ‘West End’, very high-gloss, and – ultimately – make it increasingly hard to believe that the singers really are the down-at-heel, no-hopers they are (mostly) meant to represent. Added to that, they all look utterly gorgeous. All credit to them for presenting themselves so well! However, even though, for instance, Tamne turns on some pretty fascinating accents, nothing can fill the yawning chasm between the non-entities he is meant to represent and the thrilling star he clearly is. He, like Savile, has covered and/or played Raoul in ‘Phantom’, and it’s easy to see why. They’re both terrific. But here, in this format, they don’t really convince as people who haven’t quite made it. Vickers, with her extensive acting background, you’d think, could easily do excellent justice to a part that was written to reflect her characters. Instead, the between-the-songs patter the cast are occasionally given to read (sometimes new enough to be on cards) is formed of bland, conventional transitions that don’t really support the ‘theme’ of the production, still less to they get inside the people they are meant to be.
Oh, well, such is the fun to be had in trying to get things ‘right’ in this very slippery genre, revue. This package speaks loudly to the head and there are moments when the heart is engaged, too. Bermange, I’m sure, will keep on perfecting his technique and one of these days it will all fall into place. He is a brilliant writer and finding an ever stronger position in the British entertainment scene. Onwards and upwards. Go and see this show to catch the next stage in the journey. There are many magnificent individual moments here, and – who knows – maybe over the course of the run there will be some occasional adjustments to how the whole thing is pitched.
I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical run from the 9-15 and 17 April 2018
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