Have A Nice Life

I’m beginning to think that Musical Theatre @ George Square are like some dodgy wartime butcher, who’s keeping all the good stuff ‘round the back’. With a wink and a flash of your ankle, George will wrap up a couple of extra sausages for you and lead you to the hut that is a whole street away from the main theatre, tucked behind a terraced row of town houses. This portion of prime pork is Conor Mitchell’s excellent 90-minute therapy session, Have A Nice Life.I’m a fan of Mitchell’s work, and this piece in particular. It the sort of musical you’d expect if Sondheim had written I Love You, Your Perfect, Now Change. He uses dissonant chords and melodies that are tricky to sing with bitingly funny lyrics and one-liners that any comic currently up at the Assembly Rooms would be proud of. It deals with the lives of seven characters in a real-time psychotherapy session. Their leader, Patrick, attempts to keep the group on track as his various charges take their turn to reveal their own particular quirk. It is the arrival of a new member that ultimately causes this to be the last session for them all.Bill Felty’s direction is tight, dealing with the challenge of potentially staring at an arc of chairs well by squeezing the most out of the George 2 space. It’s punctuated with some very funny set dance pieces choreographed by Nancy Berman Kantra that could have come from a Busby Berkeley spoof. After a slightly uneven start, the cast find their energy and in particular Amy Acchione, as über-clingy Jackie, brings a natural comic performance to her role which makes her stand out for special mention. This is one of those perfect choices for a Fringe musical – quirky, risk-taking and not taking itself too seriously. Definitely worth a look.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

Assembly George Square Studios

The House

★★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Grace Notes

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

The Jungle Book

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

A Midsummer Night's Dream

★★★★
Multiple Venues

A Spoonful Of Sherman

★★★★★
Pleasance Theatre

Assassins

★★★★

The Blurb

Direct from Philadelphia, this therapeutic musical delves into the psyche of seven eccentric characters during their group therapy session. From critically acclaimed composer Conor Mitchell and playwright Matthew Hurt, come share in the circle of trust.