When I was 14, I was completely obsessed with Busted. I bought their original albums (yes, piracy already existed, so this meant I was a huge fan), I even got some of their singles! I had posters all over my room that soon became mixed with McFly’s, and I knew all of their songs, even the B-sides. With all that baggage, it was just a matter of time before I decided to go and see Loserville.
The musical, written by Busted’s composing mind James Bourne, has a very “teen” premise: a geek computer-loving boy falls for a smart girl who is hiding her good looks so that people can see that she is actually intelligent. All mixed up with some technology-related drama and some really funny subplots.
But before I continue with the overall review, I think it’s worthwhile mentioning the work of Francis O’Connor, the set designer. From the curtain made out of pencil and notebooks to the futuristic puzzle that was the stage decoration, his designs fit perfectly with the story and were absolutely in sync with the actors and the development of the musical.
Let’s start from the beginning. I think the Garrick theatre is a perfect choice: small and cosy, it creates a heart-warming atmosphere that, at least for me, it contributed to make me feel more comfortable and closer to the character (well, that might have happened because I was in the third row and I could literally see their sweat…).
I must say I was very impressed with the performances of all the actors in the show, although I particularly liked the leading actor, Aaron Sidwell and Lil’ Chris and Daniel Buckley as two of his weird, misfit friends. All the actors were very credible, but Sidwell was simply adorable and charming in his role.
THE SINGING AND THE SONGS
Since the songs are mostly written by James Bourne (and one by McFly’s Tom Fletcher), it’s hardly surprising that the musical has a Busted-vibe all along. But I was already expecting that, and it was what I wanted to see (besides, the songs are from Bourne’s second band, Son Of Dork, so I already knew them).
What really surprised me was the singing of all the main actors. They were quite good, with voices that matched the music style (Sidwell was 100% Busted. He could be in a pop rock band). But my favourites were Richard Lowe, who played Sidwell’s best friend, and Witney White, who played a popular girl with a secret.
Oh, and I searched the soundtrack on iTunes as soon as I got back home, but it wasn’t there. I really hope they record it…
OTHER THINGS WORTH MENTIONING, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
The opening: I’m not revealing anything (of course), but I loved the opening number. It was different from other musicals, and it gave the show a fresh, young appearance.
The geek living inside me ADORED all the Star Wars references this musical has. Thank you, Bourne and Davis, you made my day.
Funny clothes: I’ve always loved the 60’s and 70’s fashion style, and I found myself examining what the actors were wearing in every scene. I wish they had a Loserville clothes line in some shop in London so I could buy some of the outfits…
What I missed: AN ENCORE. COME ON.