Loserville Proves A Real Winner
Londonist Rating: ★★★★☆
It’s 1971, Rubik’s Cubes are all the rage, the first woman has (in this reality) not yet gone into space, and some smart students are on the verge of inventing something truly ground-breaking – email!
Welcome to Loserville, where the division between the geeks and cool kids is clear enough, but where all of the stereotypes are served up with a knowing wink, and some clever nods and references to the wider world. The musical is the creation of Elliot Davis and James Bourne, and sees Michael Dork (the clue is in the name!) attempt to send messages from one computer to another. When the equally brainy Holly Manson appears she proves to be his perfect partner in both work and love, but the cool Eddie Arch attempts to steal their work and take all the credit for the invention.
After a series of shenanigans and accusations of disloyalty those who deserve to triumph win the day, which is hardly surprising since the musical is as bright and cheesy as they come. The evening is made, however, by the score, which contains a host of catchy and toe-tapping tunes, and a production so slick someone ought to put up a warning triangle!
The intimate Union Theatre proves the perfect venue for allowing the tongue-in-cheek humour to be pushed to its limit, without ever feeling overblown. For example, a dream sequence in space is hilarious precisely because it involves nothing more than four people lifting up the lovers to make them float, and a few figures carrying boxes with planets painted on them.
The numerous dance sequences are exuberant and skilfully managed, while the costumes at a science fiction convention have to be seen to be believed. There are also a host of thoughtful touches including seeing many props – everything from walkie-talkies to ice creams – appear as images on video tape boxes, themselves now items of nostalgia.
From among the strong cast, Luke Newton as Michael, Holly-Anne Hull as Holly, Lewis Bradley (an Any Dream Will Do finalist) as Eddie, and Jordan Fox as Michael’s friend Lucas stand out. You may find that you laugh a lot during Loserville, mainly because of the numerous funny moments that it contains, but also through sheer delight at the act of sharing in this joyously executed show.
Until 21 March at the Union Theatre, 204 Union Street, SE1 0EX. Tickets (£17 - 20): 0207 261 9876 or visit the Union Theatre website.
Londonist saw this show on a complimentary ticket.
Last Updated 04 March 2015