There comes an awkward point in some friendships when going to the pub is no longer quite enough entertainment. The banter has run thin and the stories are recycled. Enter the pub quiz. That great British institution of using someone else's trivia to stimulate the conversation. Quiz Night:The Musical manages to simultaneously show us the story of a young pair of friends (with benefits) in just this situation while also being an actual quiz. It's also a Musical, rather a good one, in fact.
It's fun, cheesy and punches above its genre musically
Opening with a swingy theme song and a sequinned dance routine, we are introduced to our drag King host, Bruce Forsight, and to the almost-couple of Claire and Simon. It's fun, cheesy and punches above its genre musically. The backing band, Rage Against The Aubergine, provides us with classic Musical Theatre fodder early on but quickly explores styles to encompass some Ska and my favourite Google it (Don't Google it!). This drum and bass crowd-pleaser neatly summarised the pseudo-ethical dilemmas of modern quizzing.
The strength of this show is the down time provided by the quiz rounds that punctuate the narrative. It gives tables a chance to chat, drink and argue over their questions. Traditional theatre isn't really all that sociable but this participatory event is somewhere between a show and night out with friends. The singing is good and the story of Claire and Simon, while not being the most developed script you have seen, is engaging enough. It doesn't exactly pull on the heart strings but it does draw you in and the characters are entirely believable. It's a clever concept, nicely executed and one that I would happily return to.