Facebook: The Musical

It’s easy to lie into a computer keyboard, isn’t it? It’s also frighteningly easy to tell the truth – more of the truth that perhaps you should. This is the central idea behind Facebook: The Musical as the lives of its six characters are at first represented and then gradually changed by their obsessive use of Facebook. Horny teenager Justin creates a Facebook profile for Carmen, the perfect woman, in the hope that it will help him seduce Rose ‘best voice in the choir’ Turner. Carmen touches increasingly more lives through her online existence but soon it becomes evident that Justin and Rose are loosing control.The musical is at its strongest when exploring how we construct and connect to identity through Facebook. Justin and Rose at opposite ends of the stage, wilfully and accidentally misleading each other through the Facebook Chat messages shown on a screen between them had the audience in stitches. Pity that they were also openly laughing at the clunky lyrics and the composer’s addition of the full cast in harmony to the finale of what felt like every song.There’s plenty meat on the Facebook bone for a good musical – privacy, strangers, internet sex and even paedophilia – but it felt as though the plot barely grazed the surface in it’s struggle to cover all the bases. As a whole, the night lacked unity and focus. Genuinely funny lines and fantastic ideas alike were swamped in trite rhymes and an over-convoluted plot – the script is in need of a serious edit. Tafline Steen’s talent for sarcasm, Alasdair James McLaughlin’s comic timing and the singing voice of Catherine Millsom all contributed to the cast’s generous enthusiasm. But stranded unlit or without mikes at key moments, swamped by loud but unmemorable music, or given parts too high for them to sing even the strongest of casts begins to look ill. And who on Earth likes synthesised oboes?Those looking for songs about poking, adding friends, statuses and outrage at pointless redesigns will not be disappointed. On the way out the audience were even given “I Poke U” stickers. But only a small proportion of the two hours managed to make an impression beyond novelty value – and believe me, if you’re a Facebook user you’ll have heard all possible poke jokes before.

Reviews by James T. Harding

Pleasance Courtyard

Creatives

★★
Bedlam Theatre

The Duck Pond

★★★★★

The Blurb

Just how far can a poke war go? A journey of companionship, heartache, and love through the blue and white windows of the world's favourite social networking site. Fresh romantic comedy with a darker adult edge. www.facebookthemusical.co.uk