I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical (Gilded Balloon at the Museum) - Edinburgh Fringe Review
Raise your hand if you love musicals, and a cry of me, me, me is heard. Whether you aspire of being on the stage yourself, or just love the feeling of taking your seat in the auditorium and witnessing something wonderful, there will be something in Alexander S. Bermange’s ‘I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical’ that will feel like it was written and it is being performed just for you.
In this exploration of musical theatre, from the viewpoints of both the performer and the fan, we are taken on a whistle-stop tour that will have you doubling over with laughter one minute and truly feeling for the character the next.
Jennifer Caldwell, Sev Keoshgerian, Rhidian Marc and Julie Yammanee make up the cast, with Alexander S. Bermange himself on the keys. A small rack of costumes and a collection of cubes, doubling up as prop storage, make up the stage. It’s simple, but wonderfully effective, and as we whizz from song to song, you find yourself drawn in. From songs about the first audition out of drama school, the performance for agents featuring a dodgy piano and the ins and outs of having to perform with someone who’s a diva, to songs lamenting misbehaving audience members and a star who sings off key, you can’t help but love every character, believe their story and will them on.
Allow with many stellar ensemble moments, each cast member are given opportunities to shine as individuals. Caldwell’s performance of the title number is charming and full of character with Yammanee earning many a laugh with her performance as the star who doesn’t quite hit the right notes, whilst impressing vocally. Marc displays a natural flair for comedy as a drama school graduate trying to impress agents whilst his accompanying piano keeps sticking and he is forced to change things up. Keoshgerian wins over the audience with ease, first with laughter as he performs a song about being a hypochondriac who always have an excuse for a less than perfect audition, before pulling at the heartstrings as an understudy who knows that there is always some disappoint from the audience when he goes on instead of the star.
Going back to what I said at the beginning here, about the feeling of there is something in this show that will feel like it was written just for you. Hands up, I’ll proudly admit it. I am a super fan. Anyone who knows me will know of my undying love for all things Mischief Theatre, in particularly The Play That Goes Wrong. I know facts, figures, I’ve seen it loads of times, I run a whole fan account for Mischief. So, when the song ‘Super Fan’ started, I felt as if it was speaking to me, particularly the lines about seeing all the covers and the swings, just ask anyone at the Duchess Theatre and they will tell you that that is very very true about me.
Having received multiple five star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe during its run at Gilded Balloon at the Museum (and getting another raving review from me), I have to recommend that any musical theatre fan should see this show. It’s wickedly funny, vocally impressive, slick and stylish, and the applause from the audience tells you just how much it was loved.
If you would like to catch this production of ‘I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical’, you can with it set to run at Wilton’s Music Hall in London from 29th August to 9 September, with tickets available here https://www.wiltons.org.uk/whatson/804-i-wish-my-life-were-like-a-musical