Bromance: The Dudesical: The Other Palace, London
Reviewed 16th October 2018
Bromance: The Dudesical is a musical comedy following a group of friends after one fateful St Patrick’s Day in Chicago. Following Marty, a lonely IT guy, as he is taken on a series of ‘dudeventures’ as he tries to join in with the cool clique. Billed as being guaranteed to convert even non-musical fans this premiere of Ewalt and Walker’s American comedy musical aims to be laugh out loud funny.
This musical comedy is very reminiscent of films such as The Hangover, Wedding Crashers, and Dumb and Dumber. The main characters bearing an uncanny resemblance to the over-the-top frat characters often portrayed by Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Jim Carey. The show is based largely on stereotypes and larger than life characters that are perhaps not for the easily offended. Joshua Gannon plays the awkward Marty with charisma and manages to make a likeable, perhaps more believable than the others, character. Cullen Chugg Jones, Robbie Smith and Richard J Hunt take on the ‘bros’ with full gusto. Each actor can be commended for their commitment to the character. As the only female performer, Esme Laudat, manages to take on all of the female roles convincingly and adds an extra dynamic.
The writing plays on comic one-liners and a new found ‘bro-languge’ is used throughout the show. There are certainly aspects of the production which are extremely funny but it does feel like quite a niche target audience and, despite being billed as a musical for ‘non-musical fans’, I’m not sure it will attract the intended audience.
The staging and direction by Sarah Redmond is very good, particularly given the small, intimate space in this studio venue. The movement onstage and choreography works well to add physical comedy and all of the performers certainly give the reformable their all. Another interesting part of this production is the set design by Daniel Gillingwater. Taking on a comic-book style, hand-drawn look the set and props are clever and effective.
Whilst this musical may not be a huge success with the masses, it is definitely different. The songs, by Kyle Ewalt and Michael Ian Walker, are cleverly written and there are some catchy tunes. Despite some technical issues with sound during this performance, the cast are all able to put their own twist on the score and the characters come to life with each song. For something unique and totally different to the ‘normal’ musicals on offer this is definitely something worth catching whilst it is at The Other Palace.
Bromance: The Dudesical is playing at The Other Palace until the 24th October 2018. For information or tickets click here.
This review was originally written for and published by LondonTheatre1