LondonMusicalReview

Smart Casual – Camden Fringe, The Cockpit

Reviewer: Christine Stanton

Writer and Director: Sam Woof

Six friends, eighteen months, three relationships and a LOT of arguments. Can this group keep their ‘forever friendship’ together or are they doomed to fall apart?

Mel is finally feeling like an adult. A new home calls for a housewarming party with her closest friends – even if it does mean waiting for them all to show up late as usual. Ben and Willow are having relationship troubles – he’s a workaholic, ready to settle down and start their lives together, she’s a free spirit desperate to go travelling and see the world. Lily thinks Jordan is a pompous banker, he thinks Lily is a rude brat – but they both definitely fancy each other. Marc loves wine, hates Jenga and is always ready with a scathing comment. As this bunch fumble their way through the next eighteen months it’s clear that it’s not going to be smooth sailing for any of them.

While there is a lot of promise from the eye-catching promotional material, unfortunately this musical falls flat. There are a lot of avenues that could be taken when making a modern musical about Generation Z but instead the script by writer/director Sam Woof is pretty much a non-story. Although supposed to be a comedic narrative that spans over a year and a half, the only real action is a revolving door of at least one character storming off stage in every single scene. There’s no real conclusion, punchline, character development, drama, or story arc. Each scene awkwardly falls into the next, without any real cohesion, making the narrative clunky and unappealing.

The band, made up of Livi van Warmelo, Maz Sutton, Toby Anderson, Samuel Hopkins and Oscar Lopez Lopez are a beacon of light in the dark. Their snappy musical score alongside the cast’s impressive vocal talents work really well together. The only minor issue is that at points the band are a little too loud and the performers a little too quiet. This combination means some of the lyrics get lost within the soundtrack and the audience strain to hear the words

A disappointing musical that needs a lot of work in all areas – but given the right guidance and a bit more practice for everyone involved, hopefully their next entry into the Camden Fringe will be a winner.

Runs until 21 August 2021

Camden Fringe runs from 2 to 29 August 2021

The Reviews Hub Score

Disappointing

The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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