To the side, a three-piece band play smooth jazz-pop. Onstage, a group of children in swimming caps stand huddled, trying to decide what makes life worth living when you’re an egg in a fridge awaiting death. One might say they’re having an eggsistential crisis.
The thought of watching a musical performed by primary school kids would normally send me running for the hills, but An Eggcellent Adventure was really rather cute. The eggs were endearing, the tunes weren’t unpleasant and Marston Millier was fun as the mysteriously English egg-murdering ‘French chef’. I also learnt a surprising amount about eggs. Did you know that salmonella can live inside the shell as well as on the outside? No? Well there you go.
Despite the fun, there were considerable problems with audibility. The script has some very entertaining moments, such as the surreal cannibalism conversation held between a bunch of grapes eating a banana and a banana eating a bunch of grapes. Unfortunately, we can’t hear what the bunch of grapes is saying and the comedy is lost; this issue was more pronounced during the songs. However, there were a number of exceptions. Starring as Zoe the suicidal egg, and as ovular superhero Ego Egg, Divers commanded the stage with confidence and style. She has a fine singing voice and successfully captures the drama of her songs, particularly on ‘Hard Boiled Blues’. Though the standard of singing was generally good, more dramatic energy would have been welcome. The two eggs who sang ‘I’m so scared, what a fright’ and ‘I’m so angry, I’m so mad’ in the opening number did so beautifully, but it would have been nice if they had acted out the feelings as well as following the melody.
The producers of An Eggcellent Adventure made a mistake listing their show in Theatre rather than Children’s shows. I wouldn’t recommend the show as a piece of theatre for adults, but your six year old will love it.