Fresher. The Musical

Five students meet for the first time in the flat they are to share for their first year of university. Could there be a better set up for a musical? Awkward drinking games, freaky fancy-dress costumes and a convoluted love pentangle await our conveniently-diverse students as they negotiate the minefield that is first impressions at university. Imagine the Inbetweeners but with sympathetic characters and amazing music and you’ve got the idea.The affectionate humour that had the audience hooked was cleverly geared to the cast’s individual strengths, humour deriving from the characters and dancing as well as verbal jokes and the scary stare of Stevan Aspinall. The complicated love story is well told and is not dominated by pushing the fresher theme too much, no mean feat with such a fruitful concept. The coming-out sub plot could happily have been reduced, it’s stage time out of proportion to its function in the main story for what was a very superficial emotional transition; while I would like to see more of Hayley, whose intriguing character didn’t have time to engage with all of the others.Perhaps more variety would have perfected the score; but the very high quality of the music and its performances speaks for itself. The cast’s experience really shows in the lovely chorale numbers and Natahsa Barnes’s challenging character singing was musically and dramatically sublime. The enthusiasm of the pianist/MD was highly infectious. The warmth and energy of this production will stay with me for a long time, though hopefully not the yellow and cyan colour scheme.

Reviews by James T. Harding

Pleasance Courtyard

Creatives

★★
Bedlam Theatre

The Duck Pond

★★★★★

The Blurb

Freshers' Week: a world where first impressions mean everything. From the winners of seven national awards comes this fast-paced, shamelessly truthful, touching musical comedy. 'The Inbetweeners' meets 'Avenue Q' ... but without the puppets!