Saturday, 15 August 2015

Review: Bye Bye Birdie

Hey readers!
It's time for my review Bye Bye Birdie.
I was particularly looking forward to seeing Bye Bye Birdie as this was my second invite to review a show. I was glad I was invited because the show was great! It is a lot better than some of the stuff you see in the West End *cough* Cats *cough*. Bye Bye Birdie is the story of rock star Conrad Birdie who is the biggest artist to top the charts. Women love him, men want to be him and teenage girls around the country scream with glee at the mere mention of his name. But when the United States Army drafts Birdie, manager Albert Peterson sees his meal ticket preparing to fly the coop, much to the delight of longtime love Rose Alvarez, who can’t wait for Albert to ditch the music business and become an English teacher. Desperate for a publicity stunt big enough to help them survive Birdie’s departure, Albert and Rose hatch a plan: send Conrad to small-town America to plant his goodbye kiss on one lucky fan for the entire world to see. Their selection of super fan Kim Macafee sends the wholesome enclave of Sweet Apple, Ohio into chaos. Kim’s boyfriend Hugo can’t take the humiliation of his girlfriends televised lip-lock. Rose can’t take another minute of Albert’s distracted ways. And Sweet Apple can’t take its teens riotous rebellion, inspired by the arrival of bad boy Birdie. Will Sweet Apple ever be the same? All the cast were great, but cast members who stood out for me were Liberty Buckland as Rosie Alvarez, Abigail Matthew as Kim MacAfee, Harry Hart as Henry MacAfee and The Mayor, Stephen Loriot as Randolph MacAfee, Benedikt de la Bédoyère as Hugo Peabody and Jayne Ashley as Mae Peterson and Ursula Merkle. The songs were very catchy and when I woke up this morning I was singing 'We Love You Conrad'. It was very funny, with the funniest lines said by Henry Hart, who had excellent comic timing. The choreography was very, very good, but perhaps a little too ambitious for such a small space. I was sometimes a bit concerned for the actors safety that they were going to fall on me. I felt the introduction was a little confusing and I think this could possible change at the beginning I didn't have a clue what was going on. Usually in shows act two is slightly better than act one, however I felt with this show act one was stronger the act two. I think that the show could possibly be cut by 10 or 15 minutes by taking out the songs 'Shriner Ballet' and 'Spanish Rose' as I thought these songs didn't really have a point. I think this show may need to be in a slightly bigger theatre as my main problem with the show is that the theatre is too small for what they are trying to achieve. Apart from those problems for a pub theatre show this was brilliant and would recommend it to anybody who wants to see a great show Off-West End.

The featured star of Bye Bye Birdie is, drum roll please… ABIGAIL MATTHEWS!

Abigail had an incredible voice. At first I couldn't decide who I should pick; Liberty or Abigail but in the end decided to go with Abigail as she had a remarkable voice and I hope to see her in the West End soon.

Now for my final verdict on Bye Bye Birdie. I give Bye Bye Birdie… 

I don't visit pub theatres that often, but after seeing what great shows you can see at pub theatres I am going to try and go more often.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing The Who's Tommy.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

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