I Need A Doctor: The Whosical

The opening theme to I Need a Doctor: The Whosical not only starts the narrative but also identifies the witty, farcical nature of the piece. The first things to be heard are voicemails; supposedly left by Russell T. Davies, these are funny and the show does well to reintroduce this form of narrative setting throughout. The two performers, Jess and Jamie, have bags of energy in their speech, singing and movement and the piece starts with a bang.

Some of the references were a little too specific for a non-avid fan to pick up on

The show follows the two performers as they attempt to write a Doctor Who musical without breaking BBC copyright. Jess plays a fun and engaging companion, whilst Jamie plays all of the other characters, including the Doctor himself. Both of the actors possess good voices, with Jamie’s being the most versatile.

Whilst the script is clever and is weaved with nods to the show such as a dog called K10 and a blue telephone box, I found however that some of the references were a little too specific for a non-avid fan to pick up on. Some of the asides however, such as there never being a red-haired Doctor, were clever in the fact that they were also able to address fan discussion as well as actual episodes.

Throughout the piece are original songs. These are catchy and very entertaining; they do however stick very much within the same style, giving the soundtrack little variation. The songs are delivered well and are carefully incorporated into the script. There are also little nods to other musicals in the piece, for example The Little Mermaid, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Wicked and Rent. Again, this seemed to me to be a little too narrow in its ability to be recognised. Certainly a bit of a treat for the musical theatre lovers out there but perhaps a little strange for those who had never encountered these shows.

The overall show is quite cheesy and it is very aware of this. Using phrases such as “through the power of musical theatre” it presents itself as self-aware, adding a great deal of comic value. I do think Jamie and Jess could have more faith in their own abilities as writers and performers and with a little more variety of song this could be a show which doesn’t have to rely on silly jokes and scenes to be enjoyed. Nonetheless, this show provides a fun and energetic 70 minutes of entertainment. 

Reviews by Lyndsey Bakewell

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Doctor-loving superfans Jamie and Jess put on a musical about their time-travelling hero. But how do you write a Doctor Who musical without getting shut down by the BBC? Watch them battle with copyright free villains, the Exterminators and Cyber-Gents in this musical comedy hit of Edinburgh Fringe 2013. Do they escape the bad guys unscathed? Can they rewrite an entire musical in only 70 minutes with a cast of two? This award-winning parody features original songs including I Need A Doctor, Save the Day and Phonebox of Love. For ages 8 to 908!